Lucia di Lammermoor
3, 6 July 2019
Dramma tragico in two parts. Libretto by Salvatore Cammarano based upon the novel The Bride of Lammermoor by Walter Scott. Premiere: Naples, 26th September 1835, Teatro San Carlo.
Opéra de Monte-Carlo
New National Theatre Tokyo
Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana
Cor de la Generalitat Valenciana
Part One: The Departure
The action takes place in Scotland, towards the end of the 16th century. The gardens of the castle which was previously owned by the Ravenswood family and now belongs to the Ashton family, following a dispute between the two noble families. Normanno tells Lord Enrico Ashton that he suspects Enrico’s sister, Lucia, is secretly in love with the young Edgardo, the last descendant of the Ravenswood family and Enrico’s enemy. This angers Enrico, who has already planned to marry Lucia off to Lord Arturo Bucklaw in an attempt to gain a new political alliance. Raimondo, the pastor of the Ashton family and Lucia’s preceptor, says the young woman still grieves the recent death of their mother and will not want to think about marriage. Normanno refutes this, however, by revealing that Lucia meets a young man every morning. The same man who rescued her when she was attacked by a bull. Enrico breaks into a rage when a group of guards confirm that they have seen the young man in the castle grounds and that it is Enrico’s rival, Edgardo.
Night falls. Lucia leaves the castle with her companion, Alisa, for a secret meeting with Edgardo. Both women stop in front of a mysterious fountain. Alisa advises Lucia to break off all relations with Edgardo. Edgardo suddenly appears and says he must leave for France, but before he leaves he wants to make peace with Enrico and ask him for Lucia’s hand in marriage. She begs him to wait a little longer and keep their romance a secret. On separating, the two lovers exchange rings as tokens of their fidelity and a promise of their marriage.
Part Two: The Marriage Contract
A hall in the castle. Enrico has now set the date for the marriage between Lucia and Arturo, but he still fears his sister will refuse to marry. In order to ensure that the marriage will go ahead, he has intercepted all correspondence between Edgardo and Lucia and has prepared a forged letter that demonstrates Edgardo has been unfaithful to her. Lucia approaches, her face pale and staring blankly ahead of her. Enrico shows her the letter and the young woman, clearly affected and horrified, agrees to marry Arturo. Raimondo, certain of Edgardo’s disloyalty, consoles Lucia and convinces her to do what her brother wishes.
In the hall of the castle, everyone joyfully awaits the arrival of the bride and groom. Arturo arrives and assures his protection to Enrico. Lucia enters shortly after, visibly suffering. Arturo signs the marriage contract and, pressured by her brother, Lucia signs it too. At this very moment, Edgardo rushes in, raging and willing to fight in order to avenge his betrayed love. Swords are drawn, but Raimondo manages to defuse the tension. Edgardo looks at the marriage contract and asks Lucia if that is her signature: the young woman, confused and distraught, says it is. Edgardo is furious and asks her for his ring back, which he throws to the ground cursing the day he met her. Lucia faints and Edgardo is banished from the castle in the presence of the outraged guests.
The tower at El risco del lobo, Edgardo’s current residence, which is in ruins. A stormy night. Alone, Edgardo ponders his misfortune. Enrico appears. He has left Lucia’s betrothal party and come to demand an explanation from Edgardo for the dishonour he has caused. Following an animated conversation, both men decide to fight a duel at dawn the next day, near the tombs of the Ravenswood ancestors.
The hall of the castle, as the wedding party continues. Raimondo bursts in with horrifying news: Lucia has stabbed Arturo on his wedding night and he lies dead in bed. Immediately Lucia enters dishevelled and in a white nightgown stained with blood, clearly deranged. She wanders around the hall with a blank stare calling upon Edgardo, whilst recalling the happy moments they shared in love. She falls to the floor, lifeless, causing great remorse in Enrico and commotion amongst those present.
The Ravenswood graveyard, with the castle in the background. Edgardo, emotionally devastated, has decided to let Enrico kill him in the impending duel. The wedding guests arrive and tell him what has happened at the castle. Raimondo confirms that Lucia has died. Devastated and recalling the happy days he spent at his lover’s side, Edgardo stabs himself with a dagger.