Nadine Sierra, undeniably the greatest 'Lucia' on the world's greatest opera stages today, is performing the beloved role in a stunning, new production of Donizetti's 'Lucia di Lammermoor' at the Metropolitan Opera this spring, from April 23rd through May 21, 2022.
In recent seasons, soprano Nadine Sierra has brought down the house at the Met with virtuosic vocalism and captivating stage presence as Gilda in Rigoletto, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Ilia in Idomeneo. Now, she takes on one of the repertory’s most formidable and storied roles, the haunted heroine of Lucia di Lammermoor, in an electrifying new staging by in-demand Australian theater and film director Simon Stone, conducted by Riccardo Frizza. Show-stopping tenor Javier Camarena adds to the bel canto fireworks as Lucia’s beloved, Edgardo, with baritone Artur Ruciński as her overbearing brother, Enrico, and bass Matthew Rose as her tutor, Raimondo.
The tale was originally set in Scotland, which, to artists of the Romantic era, signified a wild landscape on the fringe of Europe, with a culture burdened by a French-derived code of chivalry and an ancient tribal system. Civil war and tribal strife are recurring features of Scottish history, creating a background of fragmentation reflected in both Lucia’s family situation and her own fragile psyche. The design of the Met’s new production by Simon Stone suggests a present-day American Rust Belt, an area once prosperous but now fallen into decline and neglect.
Ask any opera lover the first thing that comes to mind when they think of Lucia di Lammermoor, and the answer is sure to be a wide-eyed soprano in a blood-soaked wedding dress, doing her best to look deranged as she chews the scenery in the repertory’s most famous mad scene. This season at the Met, however, Lucia will look a little different, as Australian director Simon Stone—renowned for his audacious re-imaginings of classic works—makes his company debut with a new staging that aims to cut through the clichés and find contemporary relevance in Donizetti’s classic tragedy.
In Stone’s production, the familiar story of a young woman manipulated by her abusive brother into marriage, madness, and murder is moved from 18th-century Scotland to a struggling present-day locale somewhere in America’s Rust Belt. The director describes the setting as “the wasteland of free-market capitalism”—a kind of Anytown, U.S.A., populated by characters grasping for an American Dream that has passed them by.
Extraordinary soprano Nadine Sierra stars as an opioid-addicted Lucia who yearns for a better life, opposite tenor phenomenon Javier Camarena as her secret lover Edgardo—both making major Met role debuts. Riccardo Frizza takes the podium for the April 23 premiere, which also features baritone Artur Ruciński as Lucia’s brother Enrico, who forces her to marry for money, with disastrous consequences.
Speaking with the Met’s Matt Dobkin, Stone explained,
“[I think audiences will be] exhilarated by how close their own experience, or that of their fellow Americans, can be to grand opera.” -Simon Stone
Simon Stone explained his reasoning for reframing the story of 'Lucia di Lammermoor' in present-day America, in particular the Rust Belt.
"In Sir Walter Scott’s novel The Bride of Lammermoor, and in Salvadore Cammarano’s libretto, there’s a clear setting: the Scottish Highlands, in an era when the local aristocracy was running out of money and coming to a point of desperation and insignificance in relationship to the rest of Britain. That sense of encroaching poverty immediately led me to look at the areas in contemporary America with heavy job loss and loss of traditional sources of work—where industries have died. In these areas, there are many people who struggle with the notion of protecting their families’ tradition, protecting the history of who they are. Especially men, growing up expecting that they were going to take over the family job and that their life was going to essentially be very similar to the lives of their grandparents: two cars, a house, comfort—the basic dream of the average middle class or upper working-class guy in America. It’s always in these moments, where men feel that they and their sources of income are threatened, that misogyny and patriarchal abuses resurge." -Simon Stone
For more on this exciting, new production, and to hear from Simon Stone himself,
read the full interview from the Met Opera by clicking the button below.
To get your tickets to this incredible new production featuring Nadine Sierra as 'Lucia,' click the button below.