Lucia and Edgardo are in love. Lucia’s brother Enrico stops them from marrying because of a family feud. Lucia becomes mad and dies. Edgardo commits suicide.
There is a feud between the Ashton and Ravenswood families. Lucia Ashton and Edgardo Ravenswood are in love. Lucia’s brother Enrico wants to stop them from marrying. Instead he’s arranged for her to marry Lord Arturo.
Lucia gradually loses her mind and on the wedding day she kills her future husband Arturo. She is beyond saving. When Edgardo finds out that she is dead, he commits suicide so that they can reunite in heaven.
Opera in 3 acts
Sung in Italian
About 2 hours 15 min + intervals
Early 18th century Scotland
The gardens of Ravenwood castle
Normanno, the captain of the castle guard, is searching for an intruder. He informs Enrico that he thinks it might be Edgardo of Ravenswood coming to see Lucia, Enrico’s sister. There is been a feud between the two families and Enrico is determined to stop the relationship between Lucia and Edgardo.
By a fountain at the entrance to the park, beside the castle
Lucia is waiting for Edgardo in the garden. She tells her maid Alisa that she’s seen the ghost of a girl and when she vanished the water became red as blood. Alisa tries to convince Lucia not to pursue her love for Edgardo, saying it’s a bad omen. Edgardo arrives and tells Lucia that he needs to travel to France immediately for political reasons. He wants to marry Lucia and make peace with Enrico. Before he leaves, they exchange rings and declare their love for each other.
Lord Ashton’s apartment
Enrico and Lucia talk about the upcoming wedding between her and Lord Arturo. Enrico tricks his sister, by handing her a forged letter saying that Enrico has met a new lover and has forgotten about her. Lucia is heartbroken. Raimondo, a chaplain and Lucia’s tutor, asks her to discard her marriage vows to Edgardo and marry Arturo instead.
A hall in the castle
Arturo and Lucia are about to get married. Lucia is on the verge of losing her mind. They both sign the marriage contract, although Lucia hesitates before finally signing. Edgardo enters the hall ready ot fight for his love. Raimondo stops him and shows him the signed contract. Edgardo curses Lucia before he throws the ring and leaves.
Wolfcrag in Scotland
Enrico has arranged a meeting with Edgardo to challenge him to a duel. Edgardo accepts. They decide to meet at Ravenswood graveyard later that night.
The wedding celebrations come to an end with Raimondo informing everyone that Lucia has killed Arturo. She appears in the hall bloody and confused, talking about Edgardo in fragmented sentences. Enrico and Raimondo both try to approach her. She collapses.
The Ravenswood graveyard
Edgardo has decided to commit suicide with Enrico’s sword. He knows that Lucia is dying. Raimondo tells him that she’s already dead. Edgardo stabs himself hoping to see Lucia again in heaven.
Lucia Ashton – Soprano (dramatic coloratura)
Enrico’s sister, in love with Edgardo
Sir Edgardo Ravenswood – Tenor (lyric)
In love with Lucia, enemy of Enrico
Enrico Ashton – Baritone (lyric)
Lucia’s brother, enemy of Edgardo
Raimondo Bidebent – Bass (basso profondo)
Chaplain and Lucia’s tutor
Alisa – Mezzo-soprano (lyric)
Normanno – Tenor (Charakter)
Huntsman, retainer of Enrico
Lord Arturo Bucklaw – Tenor (spinto)
Place of birth: Bergamo, Italy
Place of death: Bergamo, Italy
Gaetano Donizetti was an Italian composer of the bel canto style. During the span of his life he wrote about 70 operas. His two most popular operas today are L’elisir d’amore and Lucia di Lammermoor.
Donizetti didn’t come from a musical family, but started taking music lessons at an early age. In 1822, after his ninth opera, the impresario of Teatro di San Carlo in Naples offered him a residency. For the next 22 years he wrote 51 operas that were performed at the theatre.
Donizetti married Virginia Vasselli in 1828. She gave birth to three children but none of them survived. In 1837 Virgina died, and within a year of her death, both of Donizetti’s parents also died. He never completely recovered from his grief. At the end of his life he lived at an institution for the mentally ill and just before his death he was moved back to Bergamo where he was born.
Although being mainly an opera composer, Donizetti also wrote symphonies, songs, sacred music, string quartets and other chamber music. Together with Rossini and Bellini he shaped the bel canto style during the first part of the 19th century. After Bellini’s death, Donizetti was the major Italian composer until Verdi.
“My heyday is over, and another must take my place. The world wants something new. Others have ceded their places to us and we must cede ours to still others... I am more than happy to give mine to people of talent like Verdi. ”
Donizetti often staged his own operas.
Most prominent operas
Salvadore Cammarano was an Italian librettist and playwright most known for writing the libretto for Lucia di Lammermoor. The libretto is loosely based on the novel The bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter Scott. Cammarano also wrote a few librettos for Verdi, Luisa Miller and Il trovatore being his most successful. Unfortunately Cammarano died before finishing Il trovatore and the libretto was completed by Leone Emanuele Bardare.
2+1, 2, 2, 2 - 4, 2, 3, 0 (tuba optional)
timp, perc, harp, strings
In 1835 when Lucia di Lammermoor was written, Donizetti had become a respected composer. Rossini had retired and Bellini died shortly before the opera premiered.
At the time there was a European interest in Scottish history and culture. Lucia di Lammermoor premiered at Teatro di San Carlo in Naples and is to date Donizetti’s most popular tragic opera.
Today Lucia di lammermoor is one of the top 20 most performed operas worldwide.
Duet – Cruda funesta smania (Enrico, Normanno)
Aria – Regnava nel silenzio (Lucia)
Duet – Sulla tomba che rinserra (Edgardo, Lucia)
Duet – Se tradirmi tu potrai (Enrico, Lucia)
Sextet – Che mi frena in tal momento (Lucia, Alisa, Edgardo, Enrico, Raimondo, Arturo)
Aria – Mad scene - Il dolce suono (Lucia)
Aria – Tombe degli ave miei (Edgardo)
Aria – Fra poco a ricovero (Edgardo)
Aria – Tu che a Dio spiegasti (Edgardo)