I have told you before about the bijou cinemas we have here in the capital. They bring us opera from The Met, live in HD. And this enables those of us around the world to visit a local cinema to see world-class singers performing in this fantastic Opera House.
And so, on a chilly early Spring morning, today we went to see the New York Met’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor.
Wikipedia tells us – The story is “loosely based upon Sir Walter Scott’s 1819 historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor“.
“The tale was originally set in Scotland, which, to artists of the Romantic era, signified a wild landscape on the fringe of Europe, with a culture burdened by a French-derived code of chivalry and an ancient tribal system. Civil war and tribal strife are recurring features of Scottish history, creating a background of fragmentation reflected in both Lucia’s family situation and her own fragile psyche. The design of the Met’s new production by Simon Stone suggests a present-day American Rust Belt, an area once prosperous but now fallen into decline and neglect.” from MetOpera.org.
Apart from watching the performance, we are taken backstage to see and hear interviews with the leading artists, the director, the orchestra conductor, one of the designers, and the overall stage manager amongst others.
This magnificent performance headed by Nadine Sierra, Artur Rucinski as Enrico. and Javier Camarena as Edgardo, was a joy to our senses. The incredible stage settings must have been a total nightmare to the overall stage manager – I am sorry that was not the title given to him in the interview. I was too engrossed to even mentally make a note.
It was quite a long production, 4 hours including two breaks, one for 10 minutes for coffee and another for 20 minutes for a light lunch. The lunch was ordered before the opera started and was already served when we came from the theatre to the cafe.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our foray into the Rust Belt, somewhere known only to us through books and films.
This performance of this well-known story showed great promise as maybe a forerunner of other operas which could be brought up to date.