Saturday, May 21, 2022

Lucia in HD


Conductor:  Riccardo Frizza
Director:  Simon Stone

Enrico Ashton, Lucia's brother:  Artur Ruciński (baritone)
Lucia Ashton:  Nadine Sierra (coloratura soprano)
Riamondo Bidebent, Lucia's tutor:  Christian Van Horn (bass)
Edgardo, Lucia's fiance:  Javier Camarena (tenor)

Host:  Anthony Roth Costanzo

The HD from the Met today was Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor in a new production by Simon Stone. It turns out I've already seen two productions by him:  Korngold's Die Tote Stadt from the Bayerische Staatsoper and Saariaho's Innocence from Aix en Provence.  He likes a lot of detail.  Today there was rather an astounding amount of detail, which, surprisingly, seemed to match the libretto.  He likes a small rotating set.  This one represented a small American town with a pawn shop, a church, etc.  There were two cars:  an orange Pinto and a pick up truck. The prop master was interviewed and said there might be about 1000 props.  The presence of cell phones, used rather frequently, places us in a narrow time period.  Thus the confusion when a drive in film of Bob Hope appeared.

It worked for me.  Lucia's brother was a drunk and a drug fiend whose budget is deeply in dept,  thus explaining his need for his sister to marry Arturo instead of Edgardo, the man she loves.

The singing was magnificent.  Nadine has a gorgeous voice, and Javier is one of the best lyric tenors around.  I've seen Ruciński before only in the La Boheme in outer space.  And Christian Van Horn is always wonderful.  The mad scene is often orchestrated for flute, but we were treated to the wonderful glass harmonica.  It seems the ideal sound to portray madness.

The combination of beautiful singing, great acting, and lots of dramatic detail,made this a wonderful performance for me.  And I need to report that the sound in the theater was much better today.

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