Lucia Di Lammermoor

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Opera in three acts in Italian

New-to-Chicago production

Music  by Gaetano Donizetti

Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, after Sir Walter Scott’s Novel,

The Bride of Lammermoor

Conductor: Enrique Mazzola

Stage Director: Graham Vick

At the Lyric Opera of Chicago

Wonderful singing fuels bel canto opera

Beginning in 1954 with Maria Callas singing Lucia in Donizetti’s masterpiece 1835 opera,  Lucia Di Lammermoor, the Lyric Opera of Chicago has mounted many fine productions of Lucia. This new-to-Chicago production features a fabulous dramatic  coloratura performance by Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova. This lady’s singing and acting carries the opera. She gets help from Polish tenor Piotr Beczala as her lover Edgardo. From their early duet where they pledge their troth, we hear glorious pure bel canto voices soar to the heavens!

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Lucia vows to marry Edgardo despite her brother, Enrico’s (baritone Quinn Kelsey) scheme to hold on to political power by getting Lucia to marry Arturo (tenor Jonathan Johnson). Enrico has Edgardo’s letters forged to Lucia so that she will turn on him and then agree to marry Arturo.

These deceptions work and the marriage scenes are filled with high drama and, of course, thrilling bel canto. Confrontations, betrayals and guilt dominate this fast paced and beautiful robust score deftly conducted by Italian conductor Enrique Mazzola.

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But Lucia Di Lammermoor rests on the performance and vocal acumen of Lucia and Edgardo.  Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova’s mad scene (one of the most famous in opera) was powerfully sung and acted by Shagimuratova. She is becoming the finest Lucia in the world! Also Polish tenor Piotr Beczala is known as thee Edgardo in the world today. Together these two propel this opera to the heavens. Add the fine coral work and the fine work from Romanian bass Adrian Sampetrean as chaplain Raimondo and this opera plays as a triumph bel canto opera. The opening night audience rendered several strong ovations in recognition to the craftsmanship exhibited on stage.  Lucia Di Lammermoor is pure grand opera with the thrilling bel canto – beautiful singing operatic style that demonstrates the skill of the singers. This opera is a “must see” for opera patrons and those who wish  to experience the wonders of opera.

Highly Recommended.

Tom Williams.

Date Reviewed: October 15, 2016.

For more info checkout the Lucia Di Lammermoor page at theatreinchicago.com.

At the Lyric Opera of Chicago, at he Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive; tickets $60-$142; call 312-827-5600; www.lyricopera.org for playing dates, through November 6, 2016.

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