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LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR

Opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti Libretto by Salvatore Cammarano after «The Bride of Lammermoor» by Sir Walter Scott. In Italian with German and English surtitles.

A blood-stained dress, a knife in her hand, her face an image of madness: Lucia has killed her husband on her wedding night. She loved another man and still loves him – the one she sees herself united with at the peak of her madness and who she will precede in death: Edgardo. He, however, is her brother’s deadly enemy. Against the background of the conflict between Catholics and Protestants in 16th century Scotland two families are engaged in a bitter struggle for honour, power and wealth. Lucia becomes a plaything in this private war. A politically useful marriage is planned for her. She consents to this forced marriage. But the torment of how she is treated, the way in which her brother’s scheming denies her humanity and her unrequited love for Edgardo not only breaks her heart but also her soul. For this shattering moment of a woman’s final act of liberation from the oppressive mechanisms of her family, Gaetano Donizetti composed one of the most remarkable aria scenes in 19th century opera. It was this mad scene in particular that was responsible for Donizetti’s breakthrough into the tragic genre at the world premiere in Naples in 1835.

The French director, actor and writer Olivier Py will stage this tragic love story. In his sensitive and intelligent productions Py is not shy of grand images or great emptions. The Artistic Director of the Festival d’Avignon delighted audiences in Basel in spring 2016 with Verdi’s «Macbeth». The musical direction lies in the hands of the Italian conductor and belcanto specialist Giampaolo Bisanti. He has already distinguished himself with brilliant interpretations of Donizetti’s «Lucia di Lammermoor» – in Tokyo and at the Semperoper in Dresden, among other venues. In Basel he will be able to give further expression to his passion for this work and delve deep into the musical world of romantic horror.

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