IU Opera Theatre’s Tale of Scottish Horror “Lucia di Lammermoor’

I think that there are things in the staging of the mad scene that have never been done before.

Gaetano Donizetti's

Photo: Indiana University

Angela Kloc, as Lucia, thinks about killing Arturo in the opera "Lucia di Lammermoor," presented by IU Opera Theatre.

Indiana University Opera Theater opens their spring 2010 semester with Donizetti’s tragedy Lucia di Lammermoor. The production will be conducted by Jacobs School of Music faculty member Arthur Fagen. Design is by the school’s C. David Higgins. Talking with WFIU’s George Walker is award winning first time guest director James Marvel.

Lucia… is an incredible work. I like to summarize it with references to Shakespeare’s classics. It has lovers separated by warring families like Romeo and Juliet. There’s an evil figure who tries to undermine the efforts of both sides a bit like Iago in Othello. And the famous mad scene may remind some of Ophelia’s in Hamlet. Now, of course Ophelia doesn’t come on stage covered with blood from her marriage bed, so Donizetti and his librettist certainly take things a bit farther, but there is a parallel.”

Marvel went on to talk about how he’s been working with the singing actors of this production. “As I’ve been working with the casts on the staging of Lucia… I’ve been encouraging them to hear what the music tells us about the words. Unlike a straight stage play where a character can say something like ‘I love you,’ in a dozen different ways, the opera has come up with a much more focused approach. There is room for interpretation, but the first thing to do is to fully explore what the music has to say.”

And his final comments, “This is going to be quite a production. I think that there are things in the staging of the mad scene that have never been done before. Even though I know what’s coming, it gives me chills every time I see it in rehearsal.”

Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti
Arthur Fagen, conductor
C. David Higgins, designer
James Marvel, stage director
IU Musical Arts Center
February 2, 6 and 12, 13, 2010

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

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