Lucia di Lammermoor
November 10, 2017
Inspired by a novel by Sir Walter Scott, Lucia di Lammermoor is told through the masterful music of Gaetano Donizetti. Referred to as a Scottish version of Romeo and Juliet, Lucia and Edgardo are two innocent young lovers who quickly realize that not even the strongest passion will shield them from fate. After Edgardo is torn away from Lucia by duties in France, she is pressured to marry the wrong man. At her breaking point, Lucia’s emotions climax into one of the most memorable and powerful mad scenes in the world of opera.
Scotland, mid-19th century. An intruder has been spotted at night on the grounds of Lammermoor Castle, home of Enrico Ashton. Normanno, the captain of the guard, sends Enrico’s men off in search of the stranger. Enrico arrives, troubled. His family’s fortunes are in danger, and only the arranged marriage of his sister, Lucia, with Lord Arturo can save them. The chaplain Raimondo, Lucia’s tutor, reminds Enrico that the girl is still mourning the death of her mother. But Normanno reveals that Lucia is concealing a great love for Edgardo di Ravenswood, leader of the Ashtons’ political enemies. Enrico is furious and swears vengeance. The men return and explain that they have seen and identified the intruder as Edgardo. Enrico’s fury increases.
Just before dawn at a fountain in the woods nearby, Lucia and her companion Alisa are waiting for Edgardo. Lucia relates that, at the fountain, she has seen the ghost of a girl who was stabbed by her jealous lover. Alisa urges her to leave Edgardo, but Lucia insists that her love for Edgardo brings her great joy and may overcome all. Edgardo arrives and explains that he must go to France on a political mission. Before he leaves he wants to make peace with Enrico. Lucia, however, asks Edgardo to keep their love a secret. Edgardo agrees, and they exchange rings and vows of devotion.
It is some months later, on the day that Lucia is to marry Arturo. Normanno assures Enrico that he has successfully intercepted all correspondence between the lovers and has in addition procured a forged letter, supposedly from Edgardo, that indicates he is involved with another woman. As the captain goes off to welcome the groom, Lucia enters, continuing to defy her brother. Enrico shows her the forged letter. Lucia is heartbroken, but Enrico insists that she marry Arturo to save the family. He leaves, and Raimondo, convinced no hope remains for Lucia’s love, reminds her of her late mother and urges her to do a sister’s duty. She finally agrees.
As the wedding guests arrive in the Great Hall, Enrico explains to Arturo that Lucia is still in a state of melancholy because of her mother’s death. The girl enters and reluctantly signs the marriage contract. Suddenly Edgardo bursts in, claiming his bride. The entire company is overcome by shock. Arturo and Enrico order Edgardo to leave, but he insists that he and Lucia are engaged. When Raimondo shows him the contract with Lucia’s signature, Edgardo curses her and tears his ring from her finger before finally leaving in despair and rage.
Enrico visits Edgardo at his dilapidated home and taunts him with the news that Lucia and Arturo have just been married. The two men agree to meet at dawn by the tombs of the Ravenswoods for a duel.
Back at Lammermoor, Raimondo interrupts the wedding festivities with the news that Lucia has gone mad and killed Arturo. Lucia enters, covered in blood. Moving between tenderness, joy, and terror, she recalls her meetings with Edgardo and imagines she is with him on their wedding night. She vows she will never be happy in heaven without her lover and that she will see him there. When Enrico returns, he is enraged at Lucia’s behavior but soon realizes that she has lost her senses. After a confused and violent exchange with her brother, Lucia collapses.
In the graveyard, Edgardo laments that he has to live without Lucia and awaits his duel with Enrico, which he hopes will end his own life. Guests coming from Lammermoor Castle tell him that the dying Lucia has called his name. As he is about to rush to her, Raimondo announces that she has died. Determined to join Lucia in heaven, Edgardo stabs himself.
Soprano Randa Rouweyha has consistently earned high critical acclaim for her beautiful light lyric voice, her commanding stage presence, and her remarkable acting abilities. A native of Ohio, and a proud graduate of Youngstown State University and Peabody Conservatory of Music, Randa was last heard with Opera Western Reserve as Adina in Donizetti’s lovely Elixir of Love, and Rosina opposite renowned tenor Lawrence Brownlee’s Count Almaviva in Rossini’s Barber of Seville. Ms.
Rouweyha has sung leading roles at several prestigious venues and opera companies, including the Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera under the direction of maestro Placido Domingo. In addition, Randa has been fortunate to perform overseas at the prestigious Al Bustan Music Festival in her land of origin, Lebanon. Randa is both honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to sing her first Lucia here at Youngstown’s beautiful historic Stambaugh Auditorium.
American tenor, Matthew Vickers, has been praised for his “brilliant and golden voice” (Die Kleine Zeitung) his “burnished sound and confident acting” (National Post) and hailed “a gutsy performer whose glowing tenor voice has interestingly dark, baritonal undertones” (Opera Now) This season, Mr. Vickers performs the role of Arnold in Rossini’s Guillaume Tell both in concert (Baltimore Concert Opera) and full production (Opera Southwest). In the winter, he performs the role of Des Grieux in Puccini’s Mamon Lescaut with Sarasota Opera and Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème with Opera Roanoke. A native of Telford, Pennsylvania, he currently resides in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Tenor Timothy Culver has been described as having “a rich but penetrating tenor” and that he “faces florid tenor writing with a fearless vivacity.” Mr. Culver has performed with Atlanta Opera, Ann Arbor Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Cleveland Opera Theater, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Porthouse Theatre, Akron Symphony, Nightingale Opera Theatre, Bar Harbor Music Festival and the Cleveland Orchestra. Some recent roles include Cavaradossi in Tosca, Werther in the title role, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Luigi in Il Tabarro, Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Canio in I Pagliacci, Il duca di Mantua in Rigoletto, Alfredo in La Traviata and Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore. Currently, Mr. Culver is an Associate Professor of Voice at the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University. He resides in Stow, Ohio with his wife and three children.
Rachael Pavloski, mezzo-soprano, is very pleased to be returning to perform with Opera Western Reserve. Ms. Pavloski has a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Bachelor’s in Music Education from the University of Toledo. Her most recent performance was with Cassidy Theatre in the role of Ms. MacMillan in Big, The Musical. Other roles that she has performed include: Flora Bervoix in La Traviata (Opera Western Reserve), Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Ramiro in La Finta Giardiniera, Lucy in Threepenny Opera, Johanna in Sweeny Todd, and Irene Molloy in Hello Dolly. Ms. Pavloski currently teaches voice at Youngstown State University and Malone University.
Jonathan Stuckey, Bass, with a “smooth deep voice” (Thomas Dyer, Berkshire Fine Arts), Jonathan Stuckey acts and sings “with élan” (Daniel Hathaway, Cleveland Classical). His repertoire ranges from the comic to the serious, including roles in Verdi’s Macbeth, Puccini’s La Bohème, Donizetti’s Elixir of Love, and more. He has performed with Resonance Works Pittsburgh, Cleveland Opera Theater, and Nightingale OperaTheatre, among others. Jonathan earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Ohio University. He went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at The Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he studied with John Shirley-Quirk.
Michael Young, Tenor, is a native of Cortland, Ohio and a graduate of The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Mr. Young is on faculty as a Voice Instructor at Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati Academy of Performing Arts, Winton Woods High School, Finneytown High School, and Cincinnati Fusion Ensemble Institute of Music. He is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Ohio Music Education Association. Michael also maintains a steady performance schedule, which has included such operatic engagements as Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca, Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème, Alberich in Wagner’s Siegfried, Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, and the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and baritone soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and the Requiems of Brahms,
Mozart, Fauré, and Duruflé.
XuYue Qing, Tenor, comes to Opera Western Reserve from China and will be making his American operatic debut as Normano in Lucia di Lammermoor. He is pursuing his master’s degree at Kent State University where he is studying with Tim Culver. He obtained his Bachelor of Music from Shanghai Conservatory of Music where he performed many operatic concerts and recitals.
Austin Pendleton is an actor, director, playwright and a teacher of acting at HB Studio in New York. Operas he’s directed include Don Pasquale, conducted by Susan Davenny Wyner at Boston Midsummer Opera, and La Bohème, conducted by Anton Coppola at Dicapo Opera, NYC. Recent plays he’s directed in NYC include the premiere production of Between Riverside and Crazy (2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama) as well as productions at Classic Stage Company of Three Sisters (for which he won an Obie Award), Ivanov (with Ethan Hawke), Hamlet (with Peter Sarsgaard) and Uncle Vanya (with Maggie Gylenhall). His recent acting appearances in NY include the title role of King Lear. In addition to his 2011 Obie Award, he also won a Drama Desk Award in 2007 as a Renaissance Man of the Theatre. The plays he has written and published include, Orson’s Shadow, Uncle Bob, and Booth.
This production marks Austin Pendleton’s first collaboration with Opera Western Reserve.