Opera

Lucia di Lammermoor

Gaetano Donizetti

Opera in three acts Poetry by Salvatore Cammarano based on Walter Scott’s novel »The Bride of Lammermoor« Performed in Italian with German and English supertitles

Lucia Ashton loves Edgardo Ravenswood, the sworn enemy of her brother, Enrico. The latter suspects that the stranger spotted near his house must be Edgardo. Ignoring all warnings and premonitions of disaster, Lucia agrees to meet Edgardo, who wishes to reconcile the two families and ask Enrico for permission to marry his sister. Yet Lucia fears for Edgardo’s life when he surrenders himself. The young couple pledge eternal love. Facing financial ruin, Enrico promises the rich heir Arturo Bucklaw his sister’s hand and, with the help of his henchmen, concocts a plot to persuade her of Edgardo’s infidelity. Forced to sign the marriage contract, Lucia collapses at her wedding party when Edgardo appears and curses her for this betrayal. Overcome by pain, Lucia kills her husband on their wedding night in a fit of madness. One last time, she dreams for a brief moment of her lost love before dying. Edgardo, who has challenged Enrico to a duel, shoots himself when he learns of Lucia’s fate. »Lucia di Lammermoor« is an impassioned study of the psychological impact of love and hate, of intrigue and vows of loyalty, and is certainly one of the truly great bel canto operas. Now, after 80 years, »Lucia« can once again be enjoyed in a full-scale production on the Semperoper stage.

Summary

Lucia Ashton loves Edgardo Ravenswood, the sworn enemy of her brother, Enrico. The latter suspects that the stranger spotted near his house must be Edgardo. Ignoring all warnings and premonitions of disaster, Lucia agrees to meet Edgardo, who wishes to reconcile the two families and ask Enrico for permission to marry his sister. Yet Lucia fears for Edgardo’s life when he surrenders himself. The young couple pledge eternal love. Facing financial ruin, Enrico promises the rich heir Arturo Bucklaw his sister’s hand and, with the help of his henchmen, concocts a plot to persuade her of Edgardo’s infidelity. Forced to sign the marriage contract, Lucia collapses at her wedding party when Edgardo appears and curses her for this betrayal. Overcome by pain, Lucia kills her husband on their wedding night in a fit of madness. One last time, she dreams for a brief moment of her lost love before dying. Edgardo, who has challenged Enrico to a duel, shoots himself when he learns of Lucia’s fate. »Lucia di Lammermoor« is an impassioned study of the psychological impact of love and hate, of intrigue and vows of loyalty, and is certainly one of the truly great bel canto operas. Now, after 80 years, »Lucia« can once again be enjoyed in a full-scale production on the Semperoper stage.

Synopsis

Background history
The Scottish aristocratic families Ravenswood and Ashton are estranged in a bloody family feud. Edgardo Ravenswood, the last survivor of his family, was driven out from his property after Enrico Ashton murdered his father, and now dwells in the derelict Wolferag tower. The new lords of Ravenswood Castle are Lord Enrico Ashton and his siblings Raimondo, a clergyman, and Lucia. The mother of the family, Lady Alisa Ashton, died a few days ago.

First image
Lucia is suspected of having started a love affair with Edgardo. Investigations by Enrico’s captain Normanno and his men have revealed that they met in the forest, and that Lucia has indeed fallen in love with Edgardo. This is a double betrayal for Enrico, because Lucia is intended to marry the rich and politically influential Arturo Bucklaw in order to rescue her family from political and financial ruin. And yet she refuses. Furious about Lucia’s resistance, Enrico swears to destroy this love and, if necessary, to kill the two lovers.

Second image
Having flown the criminal court of her brothers, Lucia impatiently awaits the arrival of Edgardo. Left with her own thoughts and fears, Lucia remembers an unhappy love story in which a Ravenswood stabbed his lover out of jealousy and dropped her corpse down a well. When Edgardo finally appears, he informs Lucia that he will be leaving Scotland for some time, but prior to this he wishes to make peace with Enrico and ask for her hand. Lucia fears that Edgardo will be killed. To assure each other of their loyalty, Edgardo becomes engaged to Lucia prior to finally leaving her.

Third image
The day set by Enrico for Lucia’s wedding with Arturo arrives – and Lucia has still no message from Edgardo. To convince her of his supposed disloyalty, his letters have been intercepted, and a false message has been produced saying that he is to marry someone else in France. This falsified letter ultimately destroys Lucia’s resolve. She swears to Raimondo that she will sacrifice herself for the well-being of the family.

Fourth image
Arturo has already arrived at the castle, and declares the Ashton family of a grand existence. Enrico urges him to leniency regarding Lucia’s continued grief for her recently deceased mother. However, Arturo has heard of Lucia’s relationship with Edgardo, and challenges Enrico on the matter. Lucia is brought in by Raimondo and subsequently forced by Enrico to sign the marriage contract. Just at this moment, Edgardo gains access to the celebration and demands compliance with the promise of marriage given to him by Lucia. However, Raimondo passes him the marriage contract with Arturo signed by Lucia, whereupon Edgardo demands his ring back, stamps on it and curses Lucia and her entire clan. He is expelled from the wedding party, and Arturo leads Lucia, aghast, into the nuptial chamber.

Fifth image
Enrico provokes Edgardo until he challenges him to a dual: At dawn on the graves of the Ravenswoods. Meanwhile, the wedding celebrations continue unabated at Ravenswood Castle, until Raimondo delivers the terrible message: Lucia has lost her sanity and murdered her husband in their bridal bed. Calm and still, with a knife in her hand, Lucia joins the guests: The time to marry her beloved Edgardo has come. She blames her brother Enrico for the murder of Arturo. She swears
her eternal love to Edgardo and will wait for him in heaven after her death. Edgardo yearns to see Lucia, but Raimondo informs him, that Lucia is dead. Edgardo kills himself in order to be reunited with her in heaven.

Complete Cast

Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden
Staatskapelle Dresden

Project Partner:
Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe Sachsen
Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden
Sparkassen-Versicherung Sachsen
LBBW – Landesbank Baden-Württemberg

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