|Yomiuri Shimbun (Tuesday, 14 June, 2011)
Akane Matsudaira, Music Critic
Lucia di Lammermoor : Poignancy Expressed in Each Note
In contrast to Don Carlo, the production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, June 9) is much more nuanced. With its hills and the always present large, almost floating, moon, the production is simple yet elegant
(Production: Mary Zimmerman). Perhaps to counter-balance this conservative production,there are small, seemingly unimportant “details,” such as the presence of a ghost
on stage. What allowed this performance to overcome any distractions was the brilliant singing by top-notch artists including Rolando Villazon (Eduardo).
Mr. Villazoon’s portrayal was passionate, his stage presence undeniable. Diana Damrau, in the title role, is unquestionably beautiful but she also has the ability to portray the emotional sensitivity required for this role.
Soon after she appears on stage, Lucia is
both lighthearted and nervous (“Regnava nel silenzio”). It is this emotional volatility that subsequently leads her inability to cope with despair. It is also this scene that makes the famous “mad scene” that much more credible. Eachnote is a desperate cry of joy and desperation. Bel Canto Opera’s lifeline is its beautiful music; to that, Ms. Damrau added depth and raw emotions.
The orchestra, led by Maestro Gianandrea Noseda, exquisitely and carefully interprets each and every emotion of the psychological nuances of the storyline. Specifically, in the scene where Lucia reluctantly signs the marriage contract, Maestro Noseda brilliantly changes the orchestra’s
tempo, accelerando, leaving the audience breathless and with sense of doom. It is at this moment Lucia’s fate is sealed.