New Year’s Eve brought the grandest of grand operas, the tragic love story Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti.
“A romantic sensation” — Bruce Scott in this NPR feature about Lucia.
“You are in for one of the most glorious evenings that Italian Opera can offer.” — Sir Denis Forman, A Night at the Opera
“I’ve seen a number of Eugene Opera performances, and this show was easily the best thus far. The audience agreed — they were fully committed to the story, and gasped, laughed, cried — and even hissed.” Heather Holmquest, The Register-Guard, January 4, 2016. Read more
“Partridge’s performance…brought the audience first to its knees, and finally to its feet, cheering. The guy next to me started babbling happily about being put in touch with the cosmos as her final mad scene ended. I felt myself, inexplicably, near tears. She was that good.” Bob Keefer, Eugene Art Talk, January 1, 2016. Read more
Click on the video below for excerpts from the dress rehearsal and opening night performance.
Click on the video below to experience Leah Partridge’s powerful portrayal of Lucy Ashton’s final moments. Warning: the video contains simulated gun violence and suicide.
The story and the music:
Set in the romantic Scottish highlands, the opera recounts the tragic love between Lucia of Lammermoor and Edgardo, Master of Ravenswood — separated by family hatred and political ambition, united by love.
Inspired by Sir Walter Scott’s novel The Bride of Lammermoor, this all-time favorite has been thrilling audiences since 1835, and the title role has been a showcase for leading sopranos such as Joan Sutherland.
Here is a video introduction to the story and music of Lucia di Lammermoor (6.04 minutes).
These excerpts are from a February 2009 Metropolitan Opera performance, with Anna Netrebko as Lucia, Mariusz Kwiecien as Enrico, Piotr Beczala as Edgardo, Colin Lee as Arturo, Ildar Abdrakazov as Raimondo, Machaela Martens as Alisa, and Michael Myers as Normanno. Marco Armiliato conducted the Metropolitan Orchestra and Chorus. The performance is available on DVD from Deutsche Grammophon.
Read more and watch more video excerpts from this ever-popular opera:
The Mad Scene (with video)
The Famous Sextet (with video)
Our remarkably strong cast for Lucia includes three Metropolitan Opera artists as well as several Oregon favorites. Click the video below to hear Music Director and Conductor Andrew Bisantz explain his enthusiasm for this cast.
Soprano Leah Partridge (Lucia) has won praise worldwide for her intelligent interpretations of opera’s most beloved characters. “A shining voice” says Opera News. Leah starred as Violetta in our La Traviata two years ago.
Baritone Malcolm MacKenzie (Lucia’s domineering brother Enrico) is capturing praise in leading opera houses throughout the U.S. and Europe in the dramatic baritone repertoire.
Bass Kevin Langan (Raimondo) is noted for his “deep smooth voice and convincing interpretative abilities” (New York Times), which have made him a favorite throughout the world in over 80 roles.
International artist David Gustafson, who makes his home in Eugene, brings his “stirring and heroic singing” (San Francisco Chronicle) to the role of Lucia’s love Edgardo. David was our Beadle in last spring’s Sweeney Todd.
Other Oregon favorites rounding out the cast are tenor Brennen Guillory (the doomed Arturo), mezzo-soprano Alyse Jamieson (the faithful Alisa), and tenor Nicholas Larson (Normanno, the Captain of the Guard).
The Eugene Opera Chorus and Orchestra will perform under the baton of Andrew Bisantz.
The production will be directed by David Lefkowich, an accomplished director whose staging has been praised for “imagination, energy and intensity” (Pioneer Press). David also directed Eugene Opera’s The Girl of the Golden West in 2014. The Register-Guard praised his “solid stage direction” that helped make that production “a hit.”
Want to meet members of this outstanding cast in person? Come to the New Year’s Eve Party!
Learn more about Lucia di Lammermoor and Sir Walter Scott through this series of informative and entertaining events leading up to the performance.
Banner image: Leah Partridge as Lucia, image by Cliff Coles/Eugene Opera.