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Lucia di Lammermoor is a dramma tragico tragic opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Donizetti wrote Lucia di Lammermoor in , a time when several factors led to the height of his reputation as a composer of opera. Gioachino Rossini had recently retired and Vincenzo Bellini had died shortly before the premiere of Lucia leaving Donizetti as "the sole reigning genius of Italian opera". The perceived romance of its violent wars and feuds, as well as its folklore and mythology, intrigued 19th century readers and audiences.
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The story concerns the emotionally fragile Lucy Ashton Lucia who is caught in a feud between her own family and that of the Ravenswoods. The setting is the Lammermuir Hills of Scotland Lammermoor in the 17th century.
However, John Black notes that "the surprising feature of its subsequent performance history is that it established so slowly in the Neapolitan repertoire",  noting that while there were 18 performances in the rest of , there were only four in , 16 in , two in , and continuing in this manner with only two in each of and The opera was never absent from the repertory of the Metropolitan Opera for more than one season at a time from until It has remained a staple of the operatic repertoire.
The instrumentation  is:. Additionally an off-stage wind band is used; Donizetti did not provide instrumentation.
Also, occasionally the glass harmonica is substituted for solo flute in Lucia's mad scene, per Donizetti's original score. Scene 1: The gardens of Ravenswood Castle . Normanno, captain of the castle guard, and other retainers are searching for an intruder. He tells Enrico that he believes that the man is Edgardo of Ravenswood, and that he comes to the castle to meet Enrico's sister, Lucia. It is confirmed that Edgardo is indeed the intruder.
Enrico reaffirms his hatred for the Ravenswood family and his determination to end the relationship. Lucia waits for Edgardo. In her famous aria " Regnava nel silenzio ", Lucia tells her maid Alisa that she has seen the ghost of a girl killed on the very same spot by a jealous Ravenswood ancestor. Alisa tells Lucia that the apparition is a warning and that she must give up her love for Edgardo.
Edgardo enters; for political reasons, he must leave immediately for France. He hopes to make his peace with Enrico and marry Lucia. Lucia tells him this is impossible, and instead they take a sworn vow of marriage and exchange rings. Edgardo leaves. Preparations have been made for the imminent wedding of Lucia to Arturo. Enrico worries about whether Lucia will really submit to the wedding. He shows his sister a forged letter seemingly proving that Edgardo has forgotten her and taken a new lover.
Enrico leaves Lucia to further persuasion, this time by Raimondo, Lucia's chaplain and tutor, that she should renounce her vow to Edgardo, for the good of the family, and marry Arturo.
Arturo arrives for the marriage. Lucia acts strangely, but Enrico explains that this is due to the death of her mother. Arturo signs the marriage contract, followed reluctantly by Lucia. At that point Edgardo suddenly appears in the hall. Raimondo prevents a fight, but he shows Edgardo Lucia's signature on the marriage contract.
Edgardo curses her, demanding that they return their rings to each other.
He tramples his ring on the ground, before being forced out of the castle. Scene 1: Wolfcrag . Enrico visits Edgardo to challenge him to a duel. He tells him that Lucia is already enjoying her bridal bed.
Edgardo agrees to fight him. They will meet later by the graveyard of the Ravenswoods, near the Wolf's Crag.
Scene 2: A Hall . Raimondo interrupts the marriage celebrations to tell the guests that Lucia has gone mad and killed her bridegroom Arturo.
Lucia enters. In the aria " Il dolce suono " she imagines being with Edgardo, soon to be happily married. Enrico enters and at first threatens Lucia but later softens when he realizes her condition. Lucia collapses.
Raimondo blames Normanno for precipitating the whole tragedy. Edgardo is resolved to kill himself on Enrico's sword.
He learns that Lucia is dying and then Raimondo comes to tell him that she has already died. Edgardo stabs himself with a dagger, hoping to be reunited with Lucia in heaven.
The aria " Spargi d'amaro pianto " following the more recitative " Il dolce suono " from the " mad scene " Act 3, Scene 2 , has historically been a vehicle for several coloratura sopranos providing a breakthrough for Dame Joan Sutherland and is a technically and expressively demanding piece. Donizetti wrote it in F major , but it is often transposed down a tone two half-steps into E-flat.
Some sopranos, including Maria Callas , have performed the scene in a come scritto "as written" fashion, adding minimal ornamentation to their interpretations.
Most sopranos, however, add ornamentation to demonstrate their technical ability, as was the tradition in the bel canto period. This involves the addition and interpolation of trills , mordents , turns, runs and cadenzas. Almost all sopranos append cadenzas to the end of the "mad scene", sometimes ending them on a high keynote E-flat or F, depending on the key in which they are singing, though Mado Robin takes an even higher B-flat .
The original scoring of this scene was for glass harmonica and soprano.
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However, an adaption for flute and the soprano soloist has been more commonly performed since, mostly for practical reasons. The popular soprano and flute duet cadenza was composed in by Mathilde Marchesi for her student Nellie Melba 's performance of the role, requiring ten weeks of rehearsal for the new addition and causing a critical reevaluation and surge of new interest in the opera.
Verranno a te sull'aure" Edgardo, Lucia. Act 2 Act 3 Il dolce suono" Lucia, "Mad Scene" Donizetti was living there at the time, preparing the revision of Poliuto into its French version which became Les Martyrs. Lucie opened on 6 August and this version toured extensively throughout France.
One of the more notable changes is the disappearance of Alisa, Lucia's handmaid and confidante.
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This allows the French version to isolate Lucia, thus increasing the story's emotional impact. Furthermore, Lucia loses most of Raimondo's support; his role is dramatically diminished while Arturo's is increased. Donizetti also added a new character, Gilbert, who is loosely based on the huntsman in the Italian version.
However, Gilbert is a more developed figure who serves both Edgardo and Enrico, divulging their secrets to the other for money. Sarah Coburn sang the title role as her first "Lucia" in this French version in In Lucie was produced by the Cincinnati Opera with Coburn again in the title role. Lucia has received over 20 commercial studio recordings, and dozens more of live performances.
Among these are two of the French version and another of the original Italian edition translated into English. The earliest complete recording was made in with Lorenzo Molajoli conducting the La Scala Orchestra and Chorus and Mercedes Capsir in the title role.
There are several recordings with Maria Callas in the title role, including two versions conducted by Tullio Serafin and and one by Herbert von Karajan Joan Sutherland , who was particularly noted for performances as Lucia, has also been recorded in the role several times including a Decca Records recording conducted by Richard Bonynge with Luciano Pavarotti as Edgardo.
Several video recordings have also been released, including one in French. He returned to the original key structure and the Mad Scene is quite different. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Harp solo, composed by Donizetti, preceding the aria "Regnava nel silenzio".
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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Lucia di Lammermoor discography. The real family involved were the Dalrymples. While the libretto retains much of Scott's basic intrigue, it also contains very substantial changes in terms of characters and events. In Scott's novel, it is her mother, Lady Ashton, not Enrico, who is the villain and evil perpetrator of the whole intrigue.
Also, Bucklaw was only wounded by Lucy after their unfortunate wedding, and he later recovered, went abroad, and survived them all. In the opera, Lucia's descent into insanity is more speedy and dramatic and very spectacular, while, in the book, it is more mysterious and ambiguous.
Also, in the novel, Edgar and Lucy's last talk and farewell supervised by her mother is far less melodramatic and more calm, though the final effect is equally devastating for both of them. At the end of the novel, Edgar disappears his body never found and is presumably killed in some sort of an accident on his way to have his duel with Lucy's older brother; therefore, he does not commit a spectacular, operatic style suicide with a stiletto on learning of Lucy's death.
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