Monday, October 18, 2010

First Reviews for LUCIA

Lucia di Lammermoor opened on Saturday evening to an enthusiastic audience that showered applause on soprano Aleksandra Kurzak and the rest of the cast. And now that the reviews are starting to come in, it looks like the critics are also crazy for Lucia.

Bernard Jacobson of THE SEATTLE TIMES said “Seattle Opera triumphs with ghostly Lucia di Lammermoor,” and that Kurzak “set the theater alight both vocally and dramatically.” He went on to say: “[Director Tomer] Zvulun's production marshals principals and Beth Kirchhoff's superb chorus on a clever set adapted from the one Dahlstrom originally created in 2008 for I puritani with telling clarity, drawing intensely lifelike performances from all concerned…. Conductor Bruno Cinquegrani paced the score authoritatively.”

Richard Campbell praised Kurzak’s mad scene on THE GATHERING NOTE: “Kurzak made the most of it, not only vocally but theatrically. She did more than descend the stairs, with blood staining her dress, and singing all those vocal flourishes. She actually seemed demented: terrorizing the wedding guests, throwing flowers, brandishing a knife, slashing her wrists….

Writing for CORNICHON, Ronald Holden says, “You can't help but fall in love with the singers,” and notes that William Burden “becomes more assured and musically confident with each appearance [in Seattle]. …Burden has the unenviable task of following one of the most famous scenes in opera with an anguished aria of his own; he pulls it off with aplomb.”

Kristen Russell of PARENT MAP gives Lucia its stamp of approval, saying it “represents an excellent chance to expose teens to opera. Why? Short acts, plentiful scene changes, melodic arias, tragic madness and bloody death. Perfection! Opera buffs will find this Lucia heart wrenching, enthralling, impeccable and thrilling, and even opera newbies will be swept away by the music – gorgeous arias, duets, and, notably, Lucia’s signature sextet.

And OPERA CASCADIA’s Dale Abersold had praise for the entire cast, and said, “Seattle Opera’s magnificent new Lucia di Lammermoor succeeds on every level, a near-total triumph to a degree that astonishes me. It’s a brilliant night at the opera. …I’m going to go again. Two more times, if possible. Because a performance like this is what opera should be.”

Our FACEBOOK page is also buzzing with comments such as: “This is one of the best performances I have seen in Seattle. I saw Anna Netrebko as Lucia at the Met last year but Aleksandra Kurzak's performance topped this and was simply outstanding last night!” (Bjorn Wahl) and “I thought it one of the best productions I've seen in my 35 years of opera subscription!” (Gretchen Freed Loschen).

If you’ve also seen Lucia, head over to FACEBOOK or TWITTER and let us know what you thought!

Photo of Edgardo (William Burden) cursing Lucia (Aleksandra Kurzak) by Rozarii Lynch.