Lucia di Lammermoor

Gaetano Donizetti

Opera in three acts Poetry by Salvatore Cammarano based on Walter Scott’s novel »The Bride of Lammermoor«

Premiere 18. November 2017

Performed in Italian with German and English supertitles


Lucia Ashton falls in love with her family’s mortal enemy, Edgardo, and the young couple pledge eternal fidelity. However, Lucia’s brother Enrico is intent on marrying her off to a rich heir. When Lucia finally believes herself entirely abandoned and alone, with even her beloved Edgardo scorning and insulting her, she murders her unwanted husband on their wedding night. With her family grieving at her perceived insanity, Lucia sees this terrible act as a form of liberation, believing herself close to achieving happiness with her lover. Based on the bestselling novel by Sir Walter Scott, »Lucia di Lammermoor« pearl of bel canto opera. Composed by Gaetano Donizetti in 1835, it is a huge challenge for every singer, both musically and dramatically. In his staging for Dresden, Dietrich W. Hilsdorf illuminates the psychological states of the protagonists by focusing on the central human relationships. The ghostly sounds of the glass harmonica underscore the sensitive inner world of an oppressed woman in her fight against the rest of the world.


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.