Opera on 3 Live from the Met: Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor 19.03.11 at 5.00 p.m.
Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Natalie Dessay stars as the innocent Lucia, forced by her brother into a political marriage with Arturo when she's desparately in love with Edgardo. The heartbreak and ruthlessness of her brother become too much for the fragile heroine, with tragic consequences.
Presented by Margaret Juntwait with guest commentator Ira Siff.
Lucia ..... Natalie Dessay (soprano)
Edgardo ..... Joseph Calleja (tenor)
Enrico ..... Ludovic Tezier (baritone)
Raimondo ..... Kwangchul Youn (bass)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera
Patrick Summers ..... conductor
This is the opera that turned Joan Sutherland into an international sensation, and for many opera lovers Joan is a difficult act to follow.
Not much interest on this so far. I admit it isn't my cup of tea, but I always had the impression that this was a very popular opera - with or without La Stupenda.
E M Forster's Where Angels Fear To Tread includes a very, very funny account of a po faced protestant English lady attending a provincial performance of Lucia on the basis that it's Walter Scott and therefore OK. She turns round to shush the Italian audience.
I did actually see Sutherland in the flesh, and was amazed in the Mad Scene how this large, Dame Edna type could bring a psychotic teenager to life through her extraordinary voice.
There was a fine performance at the ENO in the last few years.
Yes, I remember that episode from Where Angels Fear To Tread. I've been a great Forster fan for years. He was not well-served by those tacky Merchant-Ivory flicks, IMO. But I digress.
There's an excellent DVD of Sutherland's final Lucia from the Met (1980, I think) an the Mad Scene really is quite extraordinary.