CLASSIC RECORDINGS FROM ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREAT OPERA HOUSES
Donizetti's great tragedy is his undisputed masterpiece of melancholic romanticism, with the doomed love between Lucia and Edgardo retold from Sir Walter Scott's novel The Bride of Lammermoor. The 1992 production heightens the story’s powerful libretto with its dramatic visual design and first class musical performances.
Sung in Italian with English subtitles.
Renato Bruson, Mariella Devia, Vincenzo La Scola, Marco Berti, Carlo Colombara, Floriana Sovilla, Ernesto Gavazzi
Orchestra & Chorus of La Scala / Stefano Ranzani
Stage Director Pier' Alli
'The drama of Ravenswood and Ashton and the poor girl crushed between them is played out faithfully against a backround of moonlit ruins, high-windowed halls and the ancestral graveyard. Donizetti’s score works its atmospheric spell, with horns, harp and flute romantically setting off voices which come together with unfailing effect in the great sextet and are given such generous scope in solos and duets throughout.
Mariella Devia has the essential accomplishments of the traditional coloratura soprano (fluent passage-work, an extensive upward range, the incidental graces of trill and staccato and, the foundation of everything, an even line and beauty of tone); she also has a more than usually ample supply of warmth and fullness in the middle register…the pathos of the role increases steadily and the Mad Scene is in no danger of forgetting its dramatic context or becoming a mere show piece.
Vincenzo La Scola…can sustain an even line and for the most part makes a creditable showing in the finale. Renato Bruson, at the age of 55, still has pure gold in his notes. Stefano Ranzari is a sympathetic conductor.’
‘As with any performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, interest in this DVD centers on the protagonist, in this case the excellent Mariella Devia. As far as Lucias go, Devia is neither the bird variety nor the heavier post-Callas sort but somewhere in between. Her well-focused soprano is nicely balanced, utilizing more forward placement and heft for dramatic moments and relying on her facility with a dome-like position of the soft palate for floated effects. Devia’s vocalism is always class, her agility good, and she works hard to overcome the danger of dullness that might come with the (bizarre) liability of a rock-solid technique, by keeping attention and energy concentrated on the drama throughout. . . .Tenor Marco Berti is a healthy-sounding Arturo, and Floriana Sovilla appears appropriately distressed throughout as Alisa, while Ernesto Gavazzi relishes Normanno’s evil scheming on behalf of his Lord Enrico. Stefano Ranzani leads a sumptuously played, dramatically vibrant performance from an orchestra that knows its way around this score.‘
‘This powerful production recorded from the stage of Milan’s Teatro alla Scala in 1992, is released now from the archives of RAI television. It is a traditional production with imposing sets that heighten dramatic impact and darkly sumptuous costumes. The highlight of the opera is of course the often-recorded mad scene (Il dolce suono). Lucia, in this production is positioned against a receding set of narrow high-spanning castle arches and ascending steps to one very high vertical narrow window giving a sense of vertigo and dizziness that adds atmosphere to the aria. Mariella Devia gives it her all in dramatic and coloratura acrobatic brilliance. Certainly the rapturous applause at its end signified that the highly critical Milan audience was well pleased.
Another highlight of this production is the nicely stage-managed and magnificent singing of all concerned in Donizetti’s brilliant Act II sextet. Elsewhere Vincenzo La Scola impresses as Edgardo by turns ardent, vengeful then despairing. His Act III arias amongst the tombs of the Ravenswood are most moving and again drew very warm applause. Carlo Colombara is a tower of ecclesiastical strength as the sympathetic yet ‘politically correct’ Raimondo and Ernesto Gavazzari is all machiavellian slyness as the scheming Normanno. But it is cruel eyed, intransigent Renato Brusson as Lord Enrico Ashton who upstages all giving a magnificent performance in voice and acting. A powerfully dramatic and memorable La Scala production. Recommended.'
Music Web International
CAT NO: OA LS3003 D
FORMAT: All Formats
REGIONS: All Regions
PICTURE FORMAT: 4:3
LENGTH: 143 MINS
SOUND: DOLBY STEREO
NO OF DISCS: 1