The Stony Brook Opera and Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra present a semi-staged concert performance of Gaetano Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” conducted by David Lawton and directed by Brenda Harris. The first performance will be Saturday, April 25, at 8 pm and the second will be Sunday, April 26, at 3 pm, both at Staller Center.
Like many tragic operas of the time, the plot hinges upon a hopeless conflict between the personal feelings of the principal characters and the political and social demands of the society in which they live. Stony Brook’s production will be based on the new, critical edition of the opera that restores significant details that have been omitted during the many years since the composer’s death.
“This edition restores Donizetti’s original ideas, and the effect, for me, is similar to the restoration of Michelangelo’s frescos on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, after which the painter’s glorious colors finally shone forth in full splendor, as they did when he painted them,” said David Lawton, artistic director of the Stony Brook Opera and conductor of both performances.
Soprano Jennifer Sung is in the lead role as Lucia, with tenor David Guzman as Edgardo and baritone Joseph Han as Enrico. Mezzo soprano Kristin Starkey sings the role of Alisa and tenor Christopher Reames that of Arturo. All of these young singers are already active in regional opera companies and participate in national and international vocal competitions. Two guest artists, bass Charles Temkey as Raimondo, and tenor Chad Kranak as Normanno, round out the accomplished cast for this production.
The Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra will be on stage with the chorus behind them on risers. The performance, semi-staged, will include theatrical lighting, minimal props and furniture, and costume pieces. The opera will be sung in the original Italian language, with projected titles in English. Brenda Harris, a leading soprano in American opera companies and artist-in-residence at Stony Brook, directs the performance, with lighting design by Jeanette Yew of Stony Brook’s Department of Theatre Arts.
“Part of the interest in a concert performance is for the audience to see the orchestra in action and understand how it interacts with the singers,” said Lawton. “This way of performing the opera permits that, and at the same time it keeps the dramatic values of the opera and the interaction between the singers in the foreground. With the projected titles, the audience will be able to understand every nuance of the drama as it unfolds in Donizetti’s glorious music.”
Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for senior citizens and students at the Staller Center Box Office; call (631) 632-ARTS or visit www.stallercenter.com.