Lucia di Lammermoor catapulted Joan Sutherland to international fame in 1959. It is a role with which her name is now inextricably linked and one which provides a perfect showcase for her remarkable vocal agility and actin... more »g ability. Set in the misty moors of Scotland, Lucia di Lammermoor is based on the novel by Sir Walter Scott. It is a tragic tale of star-crossed lovers separated by a family feud. In Gaetano Donizetti's dark, romantic opera, the forces of hate tear the young couple apart, leading to madness and murder. Richard Greager, Malcolm Donnelly, Joan Sutherland. Directed by John Copley, conducted by Richard Bonynge. 143 minutes.« less
"People on here constantly say JS should have retired years before she did. I for one am glad she did not. I saw here three times in the late eighties, twice in concert, once in Anna Bolena and she did not disappoint. The minute she opened here mouth you knew who u were listening to; her voice is unique.I remember watching this performance for the first time some years ago; it was broadcast on satellite in the Uk by BSB. I remember thinking it must have been a recording from the late seventies and was amazed on finding the date of the performance was 1986.Sutherland's voice is incredibly fresh; you won't hear a better Lucia; her opening scene and the following Regnava etc is amazing; and would have been amazing is he were 30 at the time of recording rather than 60.I have all the vidoes and dvd's of JS. This without a doubt (although Lucrezia, Anna Bolena and Norma are close); is the best I have heard her sing on visual media. Her acting is credible; her voice, for a grandmother, is startling.Buy this!"
Rogerio Augusto | Brazil, South America | 04/04/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great recording. The artists performance are excellent. Sutherland is excellent despite she isn't in her glorious days. The only problem: the sound is not that excellent thing. There is an inconvenient (high)background noise in the whole recording."
Joseph Hart | Visalia, CA United States | 09/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I usually (much to my grief before I started doing it) read a few reviews before spending so much money for a DVD. Classical music is criminally overpriced, particularly when 99.99% of the country hates it! Sigh. So before buying Sutherland in Lucia, I read the "reviews." Everyone was obsessed with her age and insisted that she'd lost her voice (and the sky is falling too, and she's too big (as compared to what) and she can't act (oh yes she can) and she's ugly (I think she's beautiful and she has a very natural warm reticent smile) all of which is just cruel and foolish and small minded when up against such a major, major talent, if singing is genius, she's got it). I believed it and bought the MET version and thought I was happy. Then tonight I watched the mad scene from this version (the 1986 one) on a collection of excerpts from her famous roles, and it knocked my socks off. It was so much better, and her voice far from being worn out (poor old thing) was clear and distinct and absolutely wonderful. Well, this version is apparently out of print. I couldn't find it anywhere and I wanted it desperately. Finally I found a copy through an Amazon seller and ordered it. If the rest of the opera is as good (and I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be) as the mad scene I saw tonight (bloodier, more business, even better singing, some interacting with the chorus members are a few things that struck me, and apparently they struck the audience too, because she was required to stand up and take a bow right then and there, thus interrupting the opera and the story), if it's as good as that, I struck gold."
A terrific performance of an opera I have seen many times.
Ida J. Jeppesen | Austin, TX USA | 01/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sutherland is superb as Lucia. The production was as good as I have seen. It lent it self well to experiencing it via DVD."
Joan Sutherland doing "Luica di Lammermoor" at Sydney in 198
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 09/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This performance of Gaetano Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" with Joan Sutherland in the title role is from a 1986 staging at Sydney's famous opera house. This makes it more than a quarter-century down the road since Sutherland's legendary debut in the role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. So this is not "La Stupenda" at the height of her vocal prowess, but it is still pretty good and few opera fans are going to want to pass up an opportunity to see her do the Mad Scene again, even when the greatest bel canto soprano of her generation is at the end of her storied career.
Be sure you check the audio setting on your DVD player to see which one works best for you. I started out with the Dolby Digital 2CH and was disappointed with my inability to crank the sound up sufficiently and then discovered much better results with Dolby Digital 5.1CH. So settle the issue before Lucia shows up for her rendezvous with Edgardo.
"Lucia di Lammermoor" with its libretto by Kammerano is based on Sir Walter Scott's tragic novel "The Bride of Lammermoor." Everybody is singing in Italian but the story is set in Eastern Scotland circa 1700. Lucia (Sutherland) and Edgardo (Richard Geager) love each other, but her brother Enrico (Malcolm Donnelly) needs to marry her off to Lord Arturo (Sergei Baiglidin) to save the Ashton house from ruin. So Enrico forges a letter to make Edgardo seem unfaithful, Lucia signs a wedding contract, Edgardo finds out, curses her for her unfaithfulness and sends Lucia off the deep end. In her bridal chamber she slays Arturo, tries to keep up with the flute player in the celebrate Mad Scene, and then drops dead. Edgardo discovers the truth and kills himself on her grave.
The high point of the performance is the Sextet in Act II. That was the one part that gave me chills and you will notice from the way the audience explodes in applause as soon as it is over that they would agree with that assessment as well. Sutherland still sounds pretty good on the high notes, even if she does not hold them as long as you memory recalls from your favorite recording of "Lucia" (not that my ear was ever good enough to recognize the two E-flats when they come along in this one). Clifford Grant makes a nice Raimondo and while Geager's tenor voice is not on the first level he actually does a nice job of capturing the emotion of what he is singing throughout. Plus he has to do two arias after Sutherland's character has died and I have seen people leave before the final scene, so I always like to root for the poor tenor when I see "Lucia."
Of course since Sutherland is singing "Luica" is conducted by Richard Bonynge with John Copley directing the principles and the large supporting cast (take note of the simple but effective tableaus he sets up for applause moments in the evening). This is not a classic performance and there is never really a taped stage performance of an opera that sounds as good as a DVD, but that is hardly news to opera buffs. Also, the lighting does not work as well for the camera as it does for the audience at the opera house, so things are very dark from start to finish, which I guess you have to expect given the number of corpses that end up on the stage by the end of this one. Overall, this is still an enjoyable enough performance taken as an opportunity to see and hear, as one person has so aptly put it here, Sutherland in autumn."