Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor_370.
(photo credit: ury eppstein )
Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, performed by the Israel Opera, contains the
conventional dosage of love, intrigue, enmity and, for good measure, unlike
other Italian operas, also madness. In fact,except for the sextet at the
climactic end of Act One and the Mad Scene, most of the other ingredients are
Emilio Sagi’s direction and Enrique Bordolini’s
sets are suggestive, inclined toward the minimalist, and tastefully avoid
realism. Strong limelights at the beginning and end serve no other purpose than
blinding the irritated audience. The generously outstretched arms of most
characters were reminiscent of happily long forgotten decades-old stage
It must have taken much sanity and deliberation on the part
of Jessica Pratt, as Lucia, to perform her Mad Scene as magnificently as she
From a soft, caressing, almost whispered point of departure, letting
her radiant, bright soprano swell gradually until the final outburst of frenzy,
she wisely realized that the impact of a forceful cry is strongest, and most
movingly convincing, when delivered as a contrast to preceding calm yet intense
Her coloraturas were perfectly polished, flexible, and
impressively acrobatic. However, in her initial love duet with Edgardo (Celso
Albelo), her final high note emerged so shrill one easily understands his
hurried escape to France.
Albelo was a credible impassioned lover with
his persuasive lyric tenor – that tended toward the metallic, however, when
expressing his justified-sounding rage at Enrico.
As Enrico, Ionut
Pascu’s dark-timbred baritone sounded just as assertive and aggressive as this
repulsive character requires.
The celebrated sextet of Act One, the
work’s most outstanding masterpiece, was excellently sung. If rendered at a
somewhat slower tempo, though, it might have made a still more profound
Daniel Oren, conducting the Rishon Lezion Symphony Orchestra,
was sensitive to the smallest dramatic and emotional nuances of the text and
music, conveying them with utmost attentiveness.