Ruthless family politics deny Lucia her true love, breaking both her heart and her mind. But from the depths of madness and tragedy comes some of opera’s most riveting bel canto singing. Tomer Zvulun (La boheme, 2008) returns to Cleveland to direct a thrilling new production, with striking sets adapted specifically for Opera Cleveland.
|Erhard Rom||Set Designer|
|Robert Wierzel||Lighting Designer|
|Carol Bailey||Costume Designer|
|Alison Mizerski||Wig & Make-up|
Setting: The grounds of Ashton Castle, in the 1930s
First performance: Teatro San Carlo, Naples, 26 September 1835
Enrico Ashton is deeply concerned about his position as Lord Keeper of Lammermoor. The ousting of its previous owners has made a bitter enemy out of Edgardo, the last surviving heir. So Enrico has arranged a marriage between his sister, Lucia, and Arturo, to improve his status. Raimondo, the chaplain, cautions that she is not ready to love, citing her grief over her mother’s recent death. Normanno counters that she’s hardly grieving but full of ardor — she’s in love with another man. Though the identity of the man is not known, Normanno suspects it is in fact Edgardo. Enrico is furious at the news and vows Edgardo will pay for this insult with his own blood.
Lucia waits with Alisa for the arrival of Edgardo. Alisa advises her friend to forget Edgardo, but Lucia cannot — he is her only happiness in a world filled with tears. Different visions appears to Lucia, establishing her as a romantic, fragile young girl with a volatile imagination. When Edgardo enters, the stage erupts with optimism and romance. He tells Lucia that he wants to make peace with Enrico and will ask him for permission to marry Lucia, but Lucia fears her brother’s wrath. They exchange rings as a token of their secret bond and promise to write each other while Edgardo is away. Enrico and his gang appear, furious, seconds before Edgardo flees.
Several months have passed with no word from Edgardo. Lucia has reluctantly agreed to marry Arturo, and preparations are being made for the ceremony. Forced to follow the prescribed social conventions, Lucia begins to lose her mind in the claustrophobic environment. Normanno has intercepted every one of Edgardo’s letters, and in their place a forgery has been produced. When Lucia is presented with the fake letter, she faints after reading its contents — Edgardo has taken up with another woman and no longer loves her. Lucia is manipulated and forced into marrying Arturo instead of the man she loves.
Wedding guests celebrate the impending nuptials. As Lucia is presented to her bridegroom, Enrico berates her mercilessly in a series of asides. She sorrowfully signs the wedding contract. Moments later Edgardo bursts into the room. Believing that Lucia still loves him, Edgardo is stunned when shown the marriage contract bearing her signature. In despair he offers his own life, but Enrico orders him out and invites him for a duel.
Wedding guests lounge about the hall, post-festivities. Lucia and Arturo have retired to their bedroom. A gun shot is heard, and the large doors are opened, revealing Lucia sitting in a blood-covered bedroom. She has killed Arturo. Lucia stumbles before the guests, obviously delirious and unaware of what she has done, she wanders in, recalling her meetings with Edgardo and imagining herself married to him. When the angry Enrico rushes in, he is silenced by the sight of her pitiful condition. Believing herself in heaven, Lucia kills herself.
Edgardo waits for Enrico in the graveyard, intending to surrender himself. A procession of mourners led by Raimondo tells him that Lucia is dead. Resolving to join Lucia in heaven, Edgardo stabs himself and dies.