Lucia di Lammermoor: A tragic opera of love and murder

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Lucia di Lammermoor: A tragic opera of love and murder

Next week’s opera mixes love and murder in the true Italian tradition. Photo: BJU Marketing/Hal Cook

Gaetano Donizetti, an Italian composer, transformed Sir Walter Scott’s classic novel The Bride of Lammermoor into an opera which today is known as Lucia di Lammermoor.

The University Opera Association, will be presenting the opera on Feb. 27 and March 1 and 3 at 8 p.m.

The opera tells the story of Lucia and Edgardo through music filled with love, betrayal and madness. Lucia and Edgardo, members of opposing households, fall in love and swear to marry each other someday.

Enrico, the brother of Lucia, deceives Lucia into marrying another man in order to save the family fortune. However, Edgardo interrupts the wedding and curses Lucia for her betrayal. Lucia enters a crazed state, murders her bridegroom, envisions marriage to Edgardo and then dies.

Guest artists Sarah Coburn, Yi Li, Mark Walters and Kevin Thompson will portray the lead roles in the opera. Coburn has received significant acclaim for her work in the role of Lucia.

Joel DuPont, a graduate student, will play the role of Normano. Marianne Freeman, a sophomore minoring in music, will play Alisa.

Dr. Michael Moore, professor and head of the Department of Music Education is the conductor.

“Opera is designed to be all encompassing,” Moore said. “It draws on the visual, the musical, the literature and the psychological to tell the story in a unique and powerful way.”

Moore’s passion for the music is evident in the many hours he has spent studying the score.

As a conductor, Moore said he needs to be aware of what’s happening in the story and how the chords should sound relative to what the person said in order for it be believable.

Generally, the symphony orchestra consists of 50 members. “I’m really proud of those young musicians,” Moore said.

“They are learning a really tough score, and they’re doing a tremendous job. You don’t see them, but you can certainly hear them.”

The orchestra began rehearsing for Lucia di Lammermoor early this semester and work on the stage design began in late November.

Mr. Jeffrey Stegall, an associate professor of theatre arts, is the designer and stage director of Lucia di Lammermoor.

The opera takes place in the Lammermoor district of 17th century Scotland, which is known for its craggy cliffs and shrouded moors. Stegall said the scenery is a metaphor of the terrible plight that Lucia finds herself in.

Additionally, the contrast in the size of the set compared to the size of the humans serves to draw the audience deeper into the story.

Stegall said he hopes the audience will engage in the story by reading the program notes and the supertitles throughout the performance. “Don’t be afraid of the language and the music,” Stegall said. “Just listen.”

The opera is the second of three events in this semester’s Concert, Opera & Drama Series. Living Gallery in late March will be the final.