Gaetano Donizetti's tragic masterwork Lucie de Lammermoor (French version) is performed at the Lyon Opera House in 2002. Natalie Dessay sings the title role of the opera staged by Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser, and conducted by Evelino Pido.
Lucie de Lammermoor's plot surprisingly reminds us of the myth of lovers Romeo and Juliette. In Scotland of the Middle-age, two families - the Ashtons and the Ravenswoods – are enemies. Because they are on the verge of bankruptcy, the Ashtons want to marry their daughter Lucie to Sir Arthur, a wedding that could save them... Nonetheless, Henri Ashton, Lucie's brother, discovers that his sister is in love with their enemy Edgard Ravenswood. Edgard promises Lucie he will come back to marry her and offers her a ring before leaving. For several months, Henri Ashton intercepts the letters his enemy sends to Lucie and she is forced to agree marrying Sir Arthur; Lucie swears to kill herself after the wedding. She signs the prenuptial agreement just before Edgard's return she was not aware of. Lovers will they be again reunited...?
The libretto by Salvatore Cammarano, is written in inspiration from Sir Walter Scott's novel The Bride of Lammermoor. Donizetti explores the shape of tragedy with a different perspective. He develops the madness of the main character and shows the immeasurable pain that the character feels through the madness.
Natalie Dessay's performance of the title role is heartbreaking, particularly in the famous "Mad Scene", in which she wanders wearing her wedding dress which is dirtied with the blood of her bridegroom, whom she has killed. Indeed her performance, that develops all the nuances of despair, highlights her perfect mastery of dramatic codes.
Peter Schneider, Christoph Marthaler – Robert Dean Smith (Tristan), Robert Holl (King Marke) – Bayreuther Festspielhaus
Maurizio Benini, Annabel Arden – Peter Auty (Nemorino), Ekaterina Siurina (Adina)
Charles Mackerras, Nicolas Joel – Roberto Alagna (Romeo), Leontina Vaduva (Juliet), François Le Roux (Mercutio) – Royal Opera House, Covent Garden