Lucia di Lammermoor review – bloody and convincing

Lisette Oropesa
The Guardian

Katie Mitchell’s intelligent production of Donizetti’s opera - here on its first revival - takes plenty of worthwhile liberties, and soprano Lisette Oropesa as Lucia is sensational

By Erica Jeal

Anything that can upstage Christopher Maltman as Enrico, Lucia’s unbending brother, begs to be taken seriously; Maltman sings with a baritone that’s a fist in a velvet glove. Charles Castronovo, returning as Edgardo for the first half of the run, brings a touch of the matinee idol and a smooth, bright tenor to Lucia’s lover, and Michele Pertusi’s Bidebent has great, gloomy presence. But all ears as well as eyes are on Lisette Oropesa. Lucia is her first Royal Opera role, and the Cuban American soprano is sensationally good. She makes the stratospheric vocal fireworks of her mad scene – accompanied by flute this time, not glass harmonica – sound easy; indeed, her every note is part of a convincing portrayal of a complex character. It’s a rare Lucia – and a rare production – that manages that.

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