Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Donizetti - Lucia di Lammermoor|
Actors: Desiree Rancatore, Roberto de Biasio, Enrico Giuseppe Iori, Luca Grassi, Antonino Fogliani
Director: Francesco Esposito
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Dear abbey: my name is Lucia Di Lammermoor
Charles D. novak | minneapolis, minnesota USA | 12/31/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"My problem is this - every time I begin to sing in this production, it snows! Is this normal?
But seriously folks this budget production of LUCIA from the Bergamo Music Festival is so sparse and scenery-less they had to thrown in some kind of special effects and the director chose snow. It snows during Lucia's opening aria which prompts her to bend over and make a snow ball which she throws at her attendant Alisa. When Edgardo joins Lucia for their big act one duet, it snows even harder. The scene consists of a tree without leaves and a bench. The few pieces of furniture in the rest of the production looks like it was purchased from IKEA. If the cast consisted of big voiced Donizetti style singers it wouldn't make a difference but the cast is young and their singing goes from "pretty darn good" to "sorry you missed that note!" Desiree Rancatore as Lucia does a "pretty darn good" job with the mad scene even though she's required to drag a red cape the length of a football field around the stage as she trills. Roberto de Biasio has the voice of Edgardo in his vocal cords but he's just not quite secure about it. Luca Grassi as Enrico is more in the "sorry you missed that note" category. I really didn't need another DVD of Lucia. This version is more along the lines and quality of our Minnesota Opera Company productions. It never takes off and flies but boy can we Minnesotans relate to all that snow! Makes the third act of LA BOHEME look like scattered flurries."
The Haunting Snows of Lammermoor
Mr John Haueisen | WORTHINGTON, OHIO United States | 01/20/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First, let's address some of the things you may NOT like about this production of Lucia.
Bearing in mind that this was likely not a high budget production ("Bergamo Musica Festival Gaetano Donizetti"), not much of an investment was made in scenery: a bare tree, some chairs, and a rather steep white staircase that later doubles as Edgardo's family tomb.
Likewise, costumes are rather bland, except for those of Lucia and her chaperone, Alisa. The only thing in abundance in this staging is SNOW! Yes, light to heavy ubiquitous snowfall begins, especially whenever mention is made of death or hopelessness. Lucia (Desiree Rancatore) even tries to start a snowball fight, but her friend Alisa will have none of it, so after the third snowball thrown, Lucia tosses aside the fourth. (More snowfall later)
Another thing missing is blood and daggers. Perhaps some would argue they are not essentials, but when many of us watch Lucia's "mad scene," we expect to see her with the bloody dagger and at least a few smears of blood on her bridal gown. Another mystery is why they insisted that Lucia wear a red gown with a twenty to thirty foot train. The only explanation I have been able to come up with is that as she descends that rather steep white staircase, the other end of the train may be secured off-stage, allowing it to act as a sort of safety harness in case Lucia falls.
So, what about the music? The orchestra sounds pretty good, aside from a brief moment during the scene where Lucia is resigning herself to the marriage. Intruding upon her aria is a sound from the orchestra that can best be compared to an automobile horn. The singing by all the principals is good, with moments of great inspiration. In the first part of the opera, Lucia has some uncertainties in her lower register, a few notes of questionable pitch, and several "almost shrieks." In fairness, she settles down and sings all her major arias very well.
Edgardo (Roberto De Biasio), like Lucia, has several weak moments as acting goes, but his voice is sweet, clear, and passionate. Apparently, he is also the local favorite, demonstrated by repeated ovations from the audience after his arias and after the finale. Frequently, it reminds me of opera productions of a century ago, where audiences paid attention only during the favorite arias.
So, after the several shortcomings I've mentioned, what are some reasons why you might still find this production enjoyable? First and foremost is that many of us simply cannot get enough of the beautiful operatic work, Lucia. Though some productions are not as successful as others, they are like our children, and we love all of them. After the first third of the opera, the singers and orchestra settle down, making for an enjoyable evening of Lucia. Also, despite the limited budget considerations, they did not "cheap out" on the music. If my ears do not deceive me, they used a real glass harmonica, or "armonica," as Benjamin Franklin called his variation. Instead of relying only on woodwinds, the glass harmonica provides the "mad scene" with ethereal, ghostly tones that add a haunting flavor to the scene.
Oh, and more about the SNOW. As the string instruments begin their most beautiful melody--the lament as Edgardo stabs himself so that he can join Lucia in Heaven, Lucia is seen lying on the stage behind him. Of course, it starts snowing again--but this time it's endless pink-red rose petals falling by her lifeless body.