The Metropolitan Opera performance of Lucia Di Lammermoor features Joan Sutherland in a triumphant return to the Met after a four year absence. Dame Joan gives a performance of astounding facility and musical sensitivity. ... more »Gaetano Donizetti's tragic masterpiece is based on Sir Walter Scott's novel, The Bride of Lammermoor, a brooding tale of love, murder, and vengeance set in seventeenth-century Scotland. Taped live in its entirety on November 13, 1982. Conductor: Richard Bonynge Soprano: Joan Sutherland Tenor: Alfredo Kraus Includes optional English Subtitles.« less
John G. Gleeson Sr. | Frederic, Mi USA | 11/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1961, when The Met still made road tours, a friend and I stood to hear a young Joan Sutherland sing Lucia, so it was with high hopes that this DVD went into the player. In 1982, at the height of her talent, Dame Joan did not disappoint. Teamed with a cast that includued the sumptuous voice of Pablo Elvira as Enrico, and the elegant, poised tenor of the late Alfredo Krause as Edgardo, this Lucia overwhelms the viewer, both visually and acoustically. The conductor is Dame Joan's husband and coach, Richard Bonynge, arguably the finest conductor of bel canto opera. But the performance all comes down to Sutherland, and, for those who were not fortunate to have heard her before her retirement, this disc is overwhelming evidence of why she was referred to as "La Stupenda"! Vocally spectacular, with a range, fluidity and temperment that makes this as close to a perfect performance as one is likely to see, Dame Joan literally brings the house down at the end of the "mad scene". Pioneer, once more, has demonstrated how well opera and DVD technology work together. Don't miss this disc!!"
Dame Joan sings "Luica" at the Met one more time
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, in a more perfect world we would a performance of Joan Sutherland in "Luica di Lammermoor" that was recorded closer to the legendary debut she made at the old Metropolitan Opera in 1961 than this November 13, 1982 performance at new Met and the 1986 version recorded at Sydney. But unless they put out the 1977 televised performance of "Lucia" these are our two choices and no one is going to claim that Sutherland's voice is as good as it was a decade earlier. But that is hardly the point. This performance was Sutherland's first at the Met in four years and was clearly as much a celebration of the most memorable opera performance of the last half-century as anything else. This was an audience that came fully intending to give the diva ovation after ovation, especially at the end of the famous "Mad Scene," where they try to coax the soprano back up on her feet after her character has flung herself to the floor in despair.The assumption is that this production of the 301st Metropolitan Opera performance of Gaetano Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" (Libretto by Salvatore Cammarano, based on Sir Walter Scott's novel, "The Bride of Lammermoor") is something you come upon by choice. It is not intended as an introduction to opera in general or this pivotal piece in the bel canto repertoire in particular. The performance is subtitled in English and while there is not an enclosed Libretto there is an introduction written by Wil Crutchfield. The story is simple and straightforward: Lucia (Sutherland) loves Edgardo (tenor Alfredo Kraus), but her brother Enrico (baritone Pablo Elvira) forces her to wed Arturo (tenor Jeffrey Stamm) to save the family fortune. Edgardo denounces Lucia for her betrayal and on the wedding night she goes insane and kills her husband. First Lucia and then Edgardo sing a couple of arias and drop dead. In short, a perfect opera.From a vocal standpoint this earlier performance is the better of the two available for viewing, but clearly the Australian production is more of a love fest for Dame Joan, performing in her native land Down Under. Ultimately, the ovations might provide more chills than the singing, but I think it is impossible not to listen to and watch this performance without thinking what it must have been like when "the Voice of the Century" was in her prime. You feel rather sorry for the other principle singers because as long as Sutherland is on stage singing that is the only thing to which you pay attention. If for all intents and purposes you think of this as Dame Joan's curtain call, then that makes it worthwhile on those terms as well."
My favorite opera video of all time
Bill C. | Eastern Virginia | 01/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"But then, Sutherland is probably my all-time favorite soprano. I had the great good fortune to see a performance of this production at the Met when I lived in Manhattan at that time. Because the Met is such a big house (I sat in the orchestra section), the sound on the video is much better than at the live performance. Krause, in particular was difficult to hear, and Elvira's deeper voice often almost impossible to hear, even in the orchestra seats. Dame Joan is of course much older than the heroine, but her difficulties both in voice and physical movement make her seem that much more touching and vulnerable in the role, to me. The fact that her voice is not the pristine, perfect instrument is was in the 60s and 70s, also, for me, adds emotion and expressiveness to this particular production. I will always be able to enjoy this performance, and as a lover of vocal and musical beauty, that is quite a comfort to me. I highly recommend this particular version to anyone who loves the opera, and especially who love Sutherland's voice. BTW, this is NOT a review of the Australian Opera performance, but the Met Performance of 1982, which I saw live at the Met."
Better Late Than Never
Stanley H. Nemeth | Garden Grove, CA United States | 04/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"We should be thankful that the Met finally got around to preserving the greatest Lucia of our time, even if she was in the autumn of her career. Sutherland is faulty here only by comparison with the purity and ease of her more youthful voice, available in memory to operagoers of the 60's and 70's and to owners of recordings. One commentator in these pages wonders why the Sutherland voice is not of its earlier peerless quality after 1977. Surely, anyone who knows operatic voices is aware that the usual prime for such singers in ages 35 to 50. Sutherland's performance here, at age 56, is still amazing. This Lucia is memorable for the diva's remarkable, indeed extraordinary elasticity and power even though she has past her prime. One regrets, however, that the forces at Pioneer didn't see fit to digitally remaster the sound, which is really no improvement over the Videotape or larger disc. Such a grand occasion deserved more audio attention."
Sutherland.... ah Sutherland!
Edward C. Pazicky | Port Charlotte, Florida USA | 10/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most electrifying performances of Lucia I have ever witnessed. I saw it live and was absolutely enthralled by the entire performance. I had to have the DVD in my collection. Sutherland's return to the Met in this performance was remarkable and thrilling. Her mad scene was without equal in all the opera world. It brought tears to many in the unusually enthusiastic audience that brought her back for five curtain calls. Bel Canto will never be the same without Sutherland. The staging, orchestration and the cast were all superior."