Lucia of Lammermoor

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Synopsis

Act 1
A stranger has been glimpsed at night around the area of Lammermoor Castle. The master of the castle, Lord Enrico Ashton, orders Normanno, captain of the guards, to take his men to scour the area. Enrico is troubled: his family's fortunes will wane if his younger sister Lucia is not willing to marry Lord Arturo Bucklaw. Raimondo, the chaplain, reminds Enrico that Lucia is still mourning the loss of their mother. But Normanno uncovers the secret: Lucia is conducting a secret romance with Edgardo Ravenswood, enemy of the Ashton family. Normanno suspects that the stranger is none other than Edgardo himself. Filled with boundless rage, Enrico swears vengeance. The guards return and report that they have seen and identified the intruder: it was indeed Edgardo.

Dawn. By a fountain in the nearby wood, Lucia is awaiting Edgardo's arrival in the company of her maidservant, Alisa. Lucia relates how she had previously seen, at that same spot by the spring, the ghost of a girl who had been stabbed by her jealous lover. Alisa urges her to leave Edgardo, but Lucia replies that Edgardo's love gives her so much joy, nothing can vanquish it. Arriving late, Edgardo announces that he must depart that evening for France in order to secure supporters for political purposes. Before he leaves, he wishes to make peace with Enrico and ask for Lucia's hand in marriage, but Lucia asks him to continue to keep their love a secret. Edgar consents, but underneath the starry sky – before the face of God – they agree to an engagement and exchange rings.

Act 2
A few months later, the day has come for Lucia and Arturo's wedding. Normanno assures Enrico that he has intercepted all of the letters Lucia and Edgardo have sent each other, and has also forged a letter in Edgardo's name that indicates that he is now in love with another woman. The captain departs to receive the arriving bridegroom, while Enrico summons Lucia, who is still attempting to resist her older brother's will. Enrico begs his sister to save his life by submitting to the forced marriage. As a last resort, he shows the maiden the forged letter. Lucia breaks down at the news, but her brother continues to demand that she save the family by wedding Arturo. After Enrico has left, Raimondo, who is now convinced that there is no hope left for Lucia to marry for love, asks her to do her sisterly duty in the memory of her late mother and in the interest of the family's future. Eventually, shattered, she acquiesces.

The guests arrive. Enrico tells Arturo that the reason why Lucia is so sad is because she is still mourning the death of their mother. The girl enters and, although reluctantly, signs the marriage contract. At this point, Edgardo bursts into the hall to fetch his bride. The gathered guests watch what ensues with astonishment. Arturo and Enrico attempt to eject the raging suitor, who vehemently insists that he and Lucia are engaged. When Raimondo shows him the marriage contract bearing Lucia's signature, Edgardo curses the girl and, after taking back his ring from her, departs in a fury.

Act 3
Raimondo interrupts the festivities to bring news that Lucia, who had retired for her wedding night, has gone mad and killed Arturo. Then, her clothes soaked in blood, Lucia herself enters and alternately overcome by feelings of tenderness, joy and fear, recalls the days she spent with Edgardo, believing that tonight is their wedding night. The enraged Enrico is about to punish the girl, but then realises that his sister has lost her mind. Lucia collapses in a dead faint.
In the cemetery, Edgardo curses Lucia, whom he believes is spending a joyful wedding night with Arturo in the castle. The guests arriving from Lammermoor Castle inform him that Lucy is close to death and has called for him. As he rushes to her side, Raimondo arrives: it's too late, Lucia is dead. At this news, Edgardo stabs himself so that he can join his beloved Lucia in heaven right away.

Program and cast

Conductor
Enrico
Csaba Szegedi
Lucia
Erika Miklósa
Edgardo
Adorján Pataki
Arturo
Tibor Szappanos
Raimondo
Gábor Bretz
Alisa
Ágnes Anna Kun
Normanno
Gergely Ujvári

Hungarian State Opera

The Opera House is not only one of the most significant art relic of Budapest, but the symbol of the Hungarian operatic tradition of more than three hundred years as well. The long-awaited moment in Hungarian opera life arrived on September 27, 1884, when, in the presence of Franz Joseph I. the Opera House was opened amid great pomp and ceremony. The event, however, erupted into a small scandal - the curious crowd broke into the entrance hall and overran the security guards in order to catch a glimpse of the splendid Palace on Sugar út. Designed by Mikós Ybl, a major figure of 19th century Hungarian architecture, the construction lived up to the highest expectations. Ornamentation included paintings and sculptures by leading figures of Hungarian art of the time: Károly Lotz, Bertalan Székely, Mór Than and Alajos Stróbl. The great bronze chandelier from Mainz and the stage machinery moda by the Asphaleia company of Vienna were both considered as cutting-edge technology at that time.

 

Many important artists were guests here including Gustav Mahler, the composer who was director in Budapest from 1887 to 1891. He founded the international prestige of the institution, performing Wagner operas as well as Magcagni’ Cavalleria Rusticana. The Hungarian State Opera has always maintained high professional standards, inviting international stars like Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Monserrat Caballé, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, José Cura, Thomas Hampson and Juan Diego Flórez to perform on its stage. The Hungarian cast include outstanding and renowed artists like Éva Marton, Ilona Tokody, Andrea Rost, Dénes Gulyás, Attila Fekete and Gábor Bretz.

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