Lyric Opera of Kansas City showcases the vocal fireworks of Lucia di Lammermoor, the bravura bel canto work based on The Bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter Scott. The tragic love affair between young Lucia and her brother’s sworn political enemy, Edgardo, comes to life in a dark and arresting production that is new to Kansas City.
Performances March 7, 11, 13 and 15 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, sung in Italian with English subtitles, transport the imagination to an old Scottish castle where violence, ominous premonitions and love, tinged with family betrayal, collide and explode.
“The tragic tale of ‘the bride of Lammermoor’ long has been a favorite of opera-goers everywhere and long absent from our stage. We are, therefore, delighted to bring a new production to Kansas City,” says General Director and CEO Deb Sandler. “With the riveting Sarah Coburn in the title role, Lucia’s emotional turmoil promises to take on a suspenseful, heartbreaking dimension. When her brother forbids her marriage to the ardent Edgardo, portrayed by Evan LeRoy Johnson, it all proves too much for Lucia to bear, and she defends herself in a shocking way. Lucia’s descent into madness will stay with audiences long after the performance is over.”
As the curtain rises, the once-wealthy family of the title character is near bankruptcy, and her ambitious brother pushes her into marriage with a man she doesn’t love — but Lucia already has made a secret marriage vow with Edgardo, her true love from an enemy family. Convinced by her brother that Edgardo has been unfaithful, she signs the loveless marriage contract. But the day that begins with a wedding ends with murder.
The production marks the Lyric Opera debuts of tenor Evan LeRoy Johnson as well as Conductor Carlo Montanaro and Director Shawna Lucey. Returning in principal roles are soprano Sarah Coburn (Adina in The Elixir of Love, 2003), baritone Troy Cook (most recently seen as Father in Hansel and Gretel, 2016), bass Adam Lau (most recently seen as Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, 2016), mezzo-soprano Kelly Birch (Resident Artist, 2018-2019 season) and tenor Joseph Leppek (Resident Artist, 2019-2020 season).
Three things about Lucia di Lammermoor
- When Donizetti wrote Lucia di Lammermoor in 1835, Europeans of the time were fascinated by Scotland’s history and culture, and the perceived romance of its violent wars and feuds. Sir Walter Scott dramatized those elements in his novel, which, in turn, inspired Donizetti. While “Game of Thrones” exists in a fantasy world, its wild depiction of aristocratic family feuds has again ignited interest in stories such as Lucia’s.
- The opera is celebrated for the sextet “Chi mi frena” and especially for Lucia’s dramatic “mad scene,” a technically demanding tour de force.
- It has been a huge success from the beginning. During its first performance in 1835 at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy, every number received a tremendous ovation, and Donizetti and the cast took numerous curtain calls.
Lucia di Lammermoor (1835)
By Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano
Sung in Italian with English subtitles
- New-to-KC production
Sets and costumes from Jacobs School of Music, University of Indiana
- Production originally designed for and created by The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Opera and Ballet Theater
- An earlier production of Lucia di Lammermoor was last performed at Lyric Opera of Kansas City in 2006
Performances of Lucia di Lammermoor
- Saturday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, March 15 at 2 p.m.
Cast and Artistic Team (find bios at www.kcopera.org)
Lucia Sarah Coburn
Edgardo Evan LeRoy Johnson*
Enrico Troy Cook
Raimondo Adam Lau
Alisa Kelly Birch^
Auturo Joseph Leppek+
Normanno Kevin Thomas Smith
Conductor Carlo Montanaro*
Director Shawna Lucey*
Scenic and Costume Designer Phillip Whitcomb*
Lighting Designer Michael Clark*
Wig and Makeup Designer David Zimmerman
Chorus Master Piotr Wisniewski
* Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut
^ Former LOKC resident artist
+ LOKC Resident Artist
Tickets start at just $36 (including fees) for Wednesday and Friday performances. To purchase tickets, call Ticketing & Patron Services, (816) 471-7344. Patrons can select their own seats and print tickets at home by visiting www.kcopera.org. Limited student rush tickets are available for $15 starting 90 minutes before the performances with valid student ID.