An opera to swoon over, the French version of Lucia di Lammermoor has many changes from the Italian version, though done by the same composer, Gaetano Donizetti, nearly 200 years ago.
Swoon number one is the beauty, power and emotion of Lucie, sung by Sarah Coburn, who had not sung in Cincinnati before. She is also a great actress, and, since she’s small and beautiful, she looks the part – not always true in opera. Incredible singing in an incredible performance. Everyone else disappeared from the stage.
It is, as so much of opera, an awful story. A woman forced into marriage because of her brother’s ambitions, though she loves another. There is blood all around, represented by red sparkly confetti. By the end, everyone we care about is dead.
Also included are a stag and doe – or The Horned God, Cernunnos and the heroine – whose dance both presages and moves the action forward at critical moments.
The stage set was strange – seems to be the year for that at opera – but was soon forgotten as the story heated up.
A fabulous evening of tragedy, with the sound of Lucie’s voice as she descends into madness continuing to echo in me. I can almost understand why people love stories like Romeo and Juliet. Almost.