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Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor

Brown Theater, Houston,  January 28 - February 11, 2011.

Photographs by Felix Sanchez, courtesy of Houston Grand Opera


Photographs from the 2011 Houston Grand Opera production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.   It is encouraging to see how Houston's young singers program has paid off with all of the soloists, bar Dimitri Pittas, being either current or past members of it.   The music side of things under Antonino Fogliani, including singers, chorus and orchestra,  was generally applauded, Scott Cantrill in the Dallas Morning News, January 31, writing that he had "never  heard the orchestra part so finely polished",  but as so often the direction and the staging rather divided the critics.

D.L. Groover in the Houston Press, January 31 thought it a Lucia "drained of passion and frenzy" and that while "Albina Shagimuratova hits all the notes ... there's no character there".  His verdict was that " The director, Tony Award-winning John Doyle, has over-thought the opera, giving Donizetti's lilting drama this symbolic, slow, very slow, resonance which doesn't push the music so much as trip it up".  Liz Ascroft's sets seem to have taken to heart Scotland's reputation for clouds and mist with a sombre set whose main contrast seems to have been the movement of the clouds, which in Scott Cantrill's opinion "slowly descend and ascend when no one seems to know what else to do".   Theodore Dale (Culturemap Houston, January 29) also initially found the set unappealing but warmed to it, and particularly the way it was lit, as the opera progressed to the extent that he thought it was the main highlight of the production apart from Shagimuratova, " a diva who will haunt your sleep".  Everett Evans, The Houston Chronicle, February 1  was also very positive.  He liked the "stark, spare" staging and Doyle's "stately, measured approach" and concluded "Shagimuratova's pivotal performance and Doyle's vision anchor a thoughtful, psychologically persuasive treatment that is neither a traditional "your grandmother's Lucia," nor a jarringly modern treatment, but a workable compromise somewhere between".


The Team


Lucia - Albina Shagimuratova

Edgardo  - Dimitri Pittas

Enrico - Scott Hendricks

Raimondo - Oren Gradus

Normanno - Beau Gibson

Alisa - Rachel Willis-Sørensen

Arturo - Nathaniel Peake


Conductor - Antonino Fogliani

Director - John Doyle

Designer - Liz Ascroft

Lighting Designer - Jane Cox


Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and chorus



Pattima Singhalaka's striking poster for the Houston production



Scott Hendricks (Enrico), Oren Gradus (Raimondo) and Beau Gibson (Normanno)
Credit: Felix Sanchez



Albina Shagimuratova (Lucia) and Dimitri Pittas (Edgardo)
Credit: Felix Sanchez 



Albina Shagimuratova (Lucia) and Scott Hendricks (Enrico)
Credit: Felix Sanchez



Oren Gradus (Raimondo) and Albina Shagimuratova (Lucia)
Credit: Felix Sanchez



Albina Shagimuratova (Lucia)
Credit: Felix Sanchez






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