The Israel Opera’s current production of Lucia di Lammermoor, by the 19th century composer Gaetano Donizetti, is a real treat for opera lovers, thanks in large part to the bravura performances of the work’s signature arias: the sextet at the end of Act 2, and Lucia’s “Mad Scene” in Act 3.
The role of Lucia was sung at the January 17th premiere in Tel Aviv by the renowned Spanish soprano Maria Jose Moreno, who was making her Israeli debut after having performed in the leading opera houses of Europe. Moreno’s superlative rendition of the famous aria “Il dolce suono” -- combining vocal mastery with acting virtuosity -- had the audience spellbound, and earned the artist sustained applause long before the final curtain calls.
The two female flautists who participated in the unique counterpoint of the cadenza with Moreno were also outstanding. Noteworthy as well, albeit in a lesser role, was the impressive tenor Guy Mannheim, as Normano.
The staging was remarkable in its own right: reflecting the somber nature of the plot, black was the predominant color -- in both the scenery and costuming -- giving the effect of watching a production in black-and-white (Lucia was the sole person on stage clad in white). When color was introduced, it was, rather appropriately, blood-red.
The role of Lucia alternates between the visiting Moreno and Israel’s own Hila Baggio. Lucia di Lammermoor runs at the the Israel Opera House through February 3, 2017.
The Opera House
19 Shaul Hamelech Boulevard
Tel Aviv 61332
Photos ; Yossi Zwecker