Lucia di Lammermoor

Bel canto opera, which I would also loop early (and maybe some mid-) Verdi into, is probably my favorite type of opera to listen to – the melodies are simple, but exquisite (and not to mention, quite catchy too). Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor is one of the most well-known works in the bel canto repertoire, and I got to see a new production of it at Lyric. This is Lyric’s second opera of the season, and they are off to a rolling start – much kudos to Anthony Freud, whose contract as General Director was just extended for another 5 years, and who, coincidentally, I got to meet before the performance started! It’s pretty cool that he chats with people on the main floor, regardless if you’re a big donor person or not. Like seriously, I can’t tell you the number of times where I’ve seen the heads of big arts organizations, (for example *cough cough* the Salzburg Festival), who literally could care less about people who aren’t VIPs or donors.  Luckily though, Lyric has a leader who is absolutely one of the nicest people in the business 🙂

Anyways, I’ll keep this post short, but this was definitely one of my favorite performances I’ve been to at Lyric so far – and it’s probably because the two lead singers carried out Donizetti’s music with such technique, control, and clarity. I’m referring to: 1) Albina Shagimuratova, who has sung this role to great acclaim all around the world (she was the first Russian singer to sing Lucia at La Scala, and fun fact – Shagimuratova made her debut in Europe at the Salzburg Festival under Maestro Muti!), and 2) Piotr Beczala, whose voice really reminded me of a young Domingo in his prime. These two were brilliant, whether in their own scenes or in scenes with each other – I can’t list the number of times where I was just so absorbed by their singing – this is definitely a key aspect of the bel canto style and why so many people enjoy listening to it. To be honest, it’s one of the coolest experiences sitting in a large and full, but dead silent, Civic Opera House, listening to a voice just ring out into the hall, with no amplification. Literally just pure voice hitting note after note – that’s what makes the mad scene in the opera so famous, and such an experience to witness live in performance.

And to top off the already fun evening, I got to meet Beczala after the performance (see photo below!).

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Tonight, I’m headed to CSO to hear Maestro James Levine, the legendary music director of the Metropolitan Opera, conduct some Mozart and Berlioz (a great way to end the school week!).

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