Small picture of Donizetti

 

 

 

Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor

English National Opera, London, February/March 2008

 

  Photographs by Clive Barda, courtesy of English National Opera, London.  The photographs are the copyright of Clive Barda and English National Opera.

Cast and production

Lucia - Anna Christy

Edgardo - Barry Banks ( Dwayne Jones for some performances)

Enrico - Mark Stone

Raimondo - Clive Bailey (Paul Whelan for some performances)

Arturo - Dwayne Jones (Adrian Dwyer for some performances)

 

 

Conductor - Paul Daniel

Director - David Alden

Designer - Charles Edwards

 

English National Opera's first foray with Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor generally met with both critical and public approval despite being dogged by health problems of some of the singers.   David Alden's radical rethink set the opera in Victorian Scotland with broad hints of incest and abuse but which possibly force fitted the opera into his conception at some points. Dave Paxton ( MusicOMH.com )  found it "not a particularly moving or thrilling" production, one that failed "to find the humanity in Donizetti's popular but difficult score".  However, Anthony Holden ( The Observer, February 24, 2008) thought that "Alden [had] restored the work to its proper status as a thoroughly disturbing slice of psychodrama."  Tim Ashley (The Guardian, February 18) was also not fully convinced by the production but wrote that "musically, though, much of it is terrific. Christy's silvery tone suggests child-like fragility, and her coloratura is often breathtakingly accurate. Banks sings with fiery elegance and wonderful ease, while Stone is truly terrifying and implacable".  

The production used a new English libretto by Amanda Holden and the new critical edition of the score with higher keys for the soprano and all cuts restored.  Rupert Christiansen in the Daily Telegraph, February 18, 2008  doubted " the wisdom of restoring the traditional cuts, and [considered] the glass harmonica used for the mad scene ... over-amplified" but thought that "overall this was an enthralling performance - the best thing ENO has done for ages."  Anna Picard (The Independent on Sunday,  February 24, 2008) concurred: "One might blanch at the buckets of stage blood. But the combined effect of bold theatricality, excellent casting, detailed characterisation, a revised score and pristine musicianship makes Lucia ENO's most compelling production for a very long time".

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Anna Christy in the title role
© 2008 Clive Barda/English National Opera - all rights reserved

 

Anna Christy as Lucia and Barry Banks as Edgardo
© 2008 Clive Barda/English National Opera - all rights reserved

 

 

Anna Christy as Lucia and Mark Stone as Enrico
© 2008 Clive Barda/English National Opera - all rights reserved

 

Edgardo interrupting the signing ceremony (the sextet)
© 2008 Clive Barda/English National Opera - all rights reserved

 

Edgardo lamenting the death of Lucia.
© 2008 Clive Barda/English National Opera - all rights reserved

 

 

 

Page initially published in 2008