Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



Plumbago_9780993198359_1.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Performances

ETO Autumn 2020 Season Announcement: Lyric Solitude

English Touring Opera are delighted to announce a season of lyric monodramas to tour nationally from October to December. The season features music for solo singer and piano by Argento, Britten, Tippett and Shostakovich with a bold and inventive approach to making opera during social distancing.

Love, always: Chanticleer, Live from London … via San Francisco

This tenth of ten Live from London concerts was in fact a recorded live performance from California. It was no less enjoyable for that, and it was also uplifting to learn that this wasn’t in fact the ‘last’ LfL event that we will be able to enjoy, courtesy of VOCES8 and their fellow vocal ensembles (more below …).

Dreams and delusions from Ian Bostridge and Imogen Cooper at Wigmore Hall

Ever since Wigmore Hall announced their superb series of autumn concerts, all streamed live and available free of charge, I’d been looking forward to this song recital by Ian Bostridge and Imogen Cooper.

Treasures of the English Renaissance: Stile Antico, Live from London

Although Stile Antico’s programme article for their Live from London recital introduced their selection from the many treasures of the English Renaissance in the context of the theological debates and upheavals of the Tudor and Elizabethan years, their performance was more evocative of private chamber music than of public liturgy.

A wonderful Wigmore Hall debut by Elizabeth Llewellyn

Evidently, face masks don’t stifle appreciative “Bravo!”s. And, reducing audience numbers doesn’t lower the volume of such acclamations. For, the audience at Wigmore Hall gave soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn and pianist Simon Lepper a greatly deserved warm reception and hearty response following this lunchtime recital of late-Romantic song.

The Sixteen: Music for Reflection, live from Kings Place

For this week’s Live from London vocal recital we moved from the home of VOCES8, St Anne and St Agnes in the City of London, to Kings Place, where The Sixteen - who have been associate artists at the venue for some time - presented a programme of music and words bound together by the theme of ‘reflection’.

Iestyn Davies and Elizabeth Kenny explore Dowland's directness and darkness at Hatfield House

'Such is your divine Disposation that both you excellently understand, and royally entertaine the Exercise of Musicke.’

Paradise Lost: Tête-à-Tête 2020

‘And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven … that old serpent … Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.’

Joyce DiDonato: Met Stars Live in Concert

There was never any doubt that the fifth of the twelve Met Stars Live in Concert broadcasts was going to be a palpably intense and vivid event, as well as a musically stunning and theatrically enervating experience.

‘Where All Roses Go’: Apollo5, Live from London

‘Love’ was the theme for this Live from London performance by Apollo5. Given the complexity and diversity of that human emotion, and Apollo5’s reputation for versatility and diverse repertoire, ranging from Renaissance choral music to jazz, from contemporary classical works to popular song, it was no surprise that their programme spanned 500 years and several musical styles.

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields 're-connect'

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields have titled their autumn series of eight concerts - which are taking place at 5pm and 7.30pm on two Saturdays each month at their home venue in Trafalgar Square, and being filmed for streaming the following Thursday - ‘re:connect’.

Lucy Crowe and Allan Clayton join Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO at St Luke's

The London Symphony Orchestra opened their Autumn 2020 season with a homage to Oliver Knussen, who died at the age of 66 in July 2018. The programme traced a national musical lineage through the twentieth century, from Britten to Knussen, on to Mark-Anthony Turnage, and entwining the LSO and Rattle too.

Choral Dances: VOCES8, Live from London

With the Live from London digital vocal festival entering the second half of the series, the festival’s host, VOCES8, returned to their home at St Annes and St Agnes in the City of London to present a sequence of ‘Choral Dances’ - vocal music inspired by dance, embracing diverse genres from the Renaissance madrigal to swing jazz.

Royal Opera House Gala Concert

Just a few unison string wriggles from the opening of Mozart’s overture to Le nozze di Figaro are enough to make any opera-lover perch on the edge of their seat, in excited anticipation of the drama in music to come, so there could be no other curtain-raiser for this Gala Concert at the Royal Opera House, the latest instalment from ‘their House’ to ‘our houses’.

Fading: The Gesualdo Six at Live from London

"Before the ending of the day, creator of all things, we pray that, with your accustomed mercy, you may watch over us."

Met Stars Live in Concert: Lise Davidsen at the Oscarshall Palace in Oslo

The doors at The Metropolitan Opera will not open to live audiences until 2021 at the earliest, and the likelihood of normal operatic life resuming in cities around the world looks but a distant dream at present. But, while we may not be invited from our homes into the opera house for some time yet, with its free daily screenings of past productions and its pay-per-view Met Stars Live in Concert series, the Met continues to bring opera into our homes.

Precipice: The Grange Festival

Music-making at this year’s Grange Festival Opera may have fallen silent in June and July, but the country house and extensive grounds of The Grange provided an ideal setting for a weekend of twelve specially conceived ‘promenade’ performances encompassing music and dance.

Monteverdi: The Ache of Love - Live from London

There’s a “slide of harmony” and “all the bones leave your body at that moment and you collapse to the floor, it’s so extraordinary.”

Music for a While: Rowan Pierce and Christopher Glynn at Ryedale Online

“Music for a while, shall all your cares beguile.”

A Musical Reunion at Garsington Opera

The hum of bees rising from myriad scented blooms; gentle strains of birdsong; the cheerful chatter of picnickers beside a still lake; decorous thwacks of leather on willow; song and music floating through the warm evening air.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Performances

Bevin Hill as Lucia and Nathan Granner as Edgardo [Photo by Martha Benedict]
22 Sep 2017

A Mysterious Lucia at Forest Lawn

On September 10, 2017, Pacific Opera Project (POP) presented Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in a beautiful outdoor setting at Forest Lawn. POP audiences enjoy casual seating with wine, water, and finger foods at each table. General and Artistic Director Josh Shaw greeted patrons in a “blood stained” white wedding suit. Since Lucia is a Scottish opera, it opened with an elegant bagpipe solo calling members of the audience to their seats.

A Mysterious Lucia at Forest Lawn

A review by Maria Nockin

Above: Bevin Hill as Lucia and Nathan Granner as Edgardo

Photos by Martha Benedict

 

Conductor Isaac Selya and his orchestra of twenty-seven played the overture with its emotion-inducing harp music as the red sun slipped behind the mountains, leaving orange clouds and purple shadows to introduce the mysteries of night. Director and Designer Josh Shaw used three levels backed by rough walls that resembled ancient ruins as the basis for each scene. Maggie Green’s costumes involved a variety of tartans that evoked the mystique of historical Scotland.

The opera opened with a fight between Lucia Ashton’s relatives and their Ravenswood opponents. Enrico Ashton, Lucia’s brother, sung by Daniel Scofield, won this skirmish, but the war was nowhere near over. Enrico vented his fury in magnificent song at the idea of his sister falling in love with the family’s sworn enemy, Edgardo of Ravenswood. Scofield was only one of the stars of this show who had large, resonant Italianate voices. Tenor Nathan Granner as Edgardo matched him note for note.

Lucia-Press-11.png

Jacqueline Marshall’s beautiful harp music announced Lucia’s arrival at the fountain where she waited for Edgardo. Bevin Hill was a full service Lucia who hit all the notes at the right times and was able to deal with all the technical aspects of the role. Not every tone was beautiful, however. Following Lucia’s description of the spectre in the fountain, it emerged in the form of a wraith-like dancer who followed the soprano throughout the opera as a prime indicator of her mental state.

When Edgardo, who does not know that his messages to Lucia have been intercepted or that she has been told he loves another, arrived and found her marrying Arturo, he and the guests sang a magnificent sextet. Enrico and Edgardo sang of their fears for Lucia, and she took over the melody. Lyric bass-baritone Nicholas Boragno as Raimondo, the man of God, wondered about an evil end to the situation. Bridegroom Arturo, sung by lyric tenor William Grundler, and Lucia’s companion, Alisa, sung by mezzo-soprano Danielle Bond, sang of their fear for the future. Each character sang about this fatal day in the exquisitely blended sonorities that form the opera’s dramatic lynchpin.

Because Forest Lawn closes its gates on both spectres and living beings alike at ten o’clock, this performance had to skip the Wolf’s Crag Scene in which Enrico challenges Edgardo to a duel. Act III opened on Lammermoor Castle with the guests enjoying copious food and drink. All are shocked when Raimondo tells them that Lucia has murdered Arturo.

Lucia-Press-13.png

Appearing dazed, Lucia wore a blood-stained gown and held a dagger in one hand as she sang her Mad Scene accompanied by the flutes of Eve Bañuelos and Michelle Huang. Hill sang with great control but her character was mentally in another world. At the end of this pièce de resistance Lucia fell to the floor, lifeless. Later, in the Ravenswood graveyard, Edgardo hears the bell tolling her death. Stabbed through the heart, he leaves this unhappy world singing of the future he and Lucia will have together in Heaven. Although the story was sad, the performance was enthralling with audience members humming Donizetti’s tunes as they wound their way down the mountain that is Forest Lawn.

Maria Nockin


Cast and production information:

Director and Designer, Josh Shaw; Conductor, Isaac Selya; Company Manager, Mari Sullivan; Stage Manager, Carson Gilmore; Costumes, Maggie Green; Fight Director and Choreographer, Aubrey Trujillo-Scarr; Fight Captain and Choreographer, Elias Scarr; Lucia, Bevin Hill; Edgardo, Nathan Granner; Enrico, Daniel Scofield; Raymond, Nicholas Boragno; Arturo, William Grundler; Alisa, Danielle Bond; Norman, Robert Norman.

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):