Tag Archives: Lucia di Lammermoor

Donizetti operas–three score and counting, all totaled

'Lucia di Lammermoor' --Operatoonity readers favorite Donizetti

In this century, it’s generally agreed upon that only a dozen of Donizetti’s operas are worth producing. Arguably some people would quibble with even that figure. According to the Donizetti poll I posted yesterday, your favorite is Lucia di Lammermoor.  Some opera fans I know consider Lucia not only their favorite Donizetti, but their all-time favorite opera.  

According to one of Opera Pulse’s polls, in which I voted, Lucia is also the second best opera character to be for Halloween (she was my first choice). I also had a blast writing about Lucia on this blog last June. Whoever schedules Lucia during the most popular marrying month in North America must have a wicked sense of humor. Don’t expect to see Lucia on the cover of Bride Magazine anytime soon.  

After one of my readers mentioned that some of Donizetti’s lesser known operas featured some of the silliest plots ever, I decided to give them a look-see. According to The Penguin Opera Guide, Donizetti wrote 65 operas in total. Other sites say 60. Sixty operas? Verdi wrote half that many. True, most of Verdi’s works endure today where as only one-fifth of Donizetti’s works are regularly produced. But 60? That’s a lotta opera! 

Did any other composer write as much as Donizetti? Apparently, depending on how you define opera, several composers are credited with more than 100 each, one surpassing 250, but how many composers whose work is produced today? Good question. Donizetti would have to be right up there.  

According to Bachtrack’s 2010 League Tables, Donizetti ranked 7th of composers with most opera performances worldwide with 240 after Verdi with 824, Mozart  with 771, Puccini  with 681, Wagner  with 273, Rossini  with 259, and Richard Strauss 246. More Strauss than Donizetti?  A surprising statistic, per moi.  

I can’t say which of the following Donizetti works are so silly they aren’t worth producing, but I can tell you which one would drive the marketing department crazy:  

Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali   

Just how do you fit that title onto a poster?  

Anyhoo, here’s one list of his complete works:  

A  

    * L’ajo nell’imbarazzo
    * Alahor in Granata
    * Alfredo il grande
    * Alina, regina di Golconda
    * L’ange de Nisida
    * Anna Bolena
    * L’assedio di Calais
  

B  

    * Belisario
    * Betly
  

C  

    * Il campanello
    * Il castello di Kenilworth
    * Caterina Cornaro (opera)
    * Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali
  

D  

    * Il diluvio universale
    * Dom Sébastien
    * Don Gregorio (opera)
    * Don Pasquale
    * Le duc d’Albe
 

 

Operatoonity readers' second favorite Donizetti

E  

    * L’elisir d’amore
  
 * Elvida
    * Emilia di Liverpool
    * Enrico di Borgogna
    * L’esule di Roma
  

F  

    * Fausta (opera)
    * La favorite
    * La fille du régiment
    * Francesca di Foix
    * Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo
  

G  

    * Gabriella di Vergy
    * Gemma di Vergy
    * Gianni di Calais
    * Gianni di Parigi
  

I  

    * Il giovedì grasso
    * Imelda de’ Lambertazzi
  

L  

    * Linda di Chamounix
    * Lucia di Lammermoor
    * Lucrezia Borgia (opera)
  

M  

    * Maria de Rudenz
    * Maria di Rohan
   
* Maria Padilla
    * Maria Stuarda
    * Marino Faliero (opera)
  

O  

    * Olivo e Pasquale
    * Otto mesi in due ore
  

P  

    * Parisina (opera)
    * Pia de’ Tolomei
    * Pietro il grande
    * Il Pigmalione
    * Poliuto
  

R  

    * Rita (opera)
    * Roberto Devereux
    * La romanzesca e l’uomo nero
    * Rosmonda d’Inghilterra
  

S  

    * Sancia di Castiglia  

T  

    * Torquato Tasso (opera)  

U  

    * Ugo, conte di Parigi
    * Una follia
  

Z  

    * La zingara
    * Zoraida di Granata
  

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Filed under 21st Century Opera, Audience participation, Bel canto opera, Classical Composers, North American Opera, Poll

opera and humanity . . . perfect together

Benefit concert for St. Luke's Children's Hospital/photo by Michael Chadwick

It’s beautiful and noble. Classy, classical, and charitable. It’s Opera for Humanity (OFH), and it has been aiding children and charities through benefit recitals since 2006. That’s when founder Amy Shoremount-Obra, a classical singer who trained at the Julliard School and the Manhattan School of Music, began combining her musical gifts with a desire to serve for children in need. 

Coloratura soprano and OFH founder Amy Shoremount-Obra/photo by Allan Reider

The New York-based Opera for Humanity is a vehicle for both social change and artistic development. OFH realizes their mission by helping children worldwide overcome poverty and disease through benefit performances of world-class opera by exceptionally promising young stars. Opera for Humanity is also committed to reaching many through outreach performances in communities where opera and classical music are not widely accessible. 

According to their website, in addition to its philanthropic activities, OFH is dedicated to providing opportunities for gifted young artists, helping to promote up and coming talent. Participating artists have the opportunity to help children in need and to give back to the community while collaborating with equally talented colleagues in prestigious venues. 

“We have already been fortunate enough to help many organizations,” Ms. Shoremount-Obra explained. Ronald McDonald House of New York City, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Bryan’s Dream Foundation are just some of programs they’ve supported. 

OFH's Lucia di Lammermoor/photo by Allan Reider Studio

OFH received official non-profit status in 2008. Proceeds from their inaugural performance of Donizetti’s Elixir of Love  established a fund for the company itself. Its recent performance of Lucia di Lammermoor raised $5,000 for the New York City Food Bank as well as children in Cambodia and Malawi through World Vision

Opera for Humanity has slated an entire series of recitals and a Holiday Benefit, beginning with Mim Paquin (Soprano) and Donna Gill (Piano) on November 5th, at 7:30pm at 345 E. 56th St, Kala Maxym (Soprano) and Maria Garcia (Piano) on November 19th at 7:30pm in the “Madame Butterfly” Room at 853 7th Ave. (For a special post about Kala Maxym’s upcoming recital, click here.)   

“Our Holiday Benefit will be at Bechstein Hall on December 17th,” Ms. Shoremount-Obra said.  “We are excited to announce that New York City Opera Director Beth Greenberg will direct!” 

OFH has two more recitals coming up in January, including one featuring Ms. Shoremount-Obra on January 21, to benefit the Scott Family.   

OFH participating in Make Music New York 2010

Amy is quick to credit the OFH team, which also includes Suzanne Halasz (the daughter of Maestro Laszlo Halasz, who founded New York City Opera, and also New York City Center), Director of Development; Linda Platzer, Director of Public Relations, and Julia Mintzer, Director of Production; for their tireless work in helping children in need while providing fantastic performing opportunities for young, talented artists. 

For more information on any OFH event or to be added to their mailing list, email info@operaforhumanity.org

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Filed under 21st Century Opera, Benefit, Classic Opera, Concert Opera, Heartstoppers, Recitals

ask Richard about National Opera Week

Dear Richard,  

My sister-in-law said National Opera Week begins on October 29.  Here’s my problem. I’m going to be traveling out to see her that week, with stops in Pittsburgh; Columbus, Ohio; Quincy, Illinois; and finally, heading back toward Cincinatti, early on the 7th. What’s worth stopping for along the way?  

Alice in Altoona  

Dr. Richard Rohrer, self-proclaimed opera expert

 

Dear Alice,  

You have hit the jackpot, my dear. Get a load of just some of the fun things you can do in America’s heartland during this celebrated week.  

First stop is on Sunday, October 31 at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Avenue,  at 2:00 p.m.  There you can enjoy “Opera Up Close: Lucia di Lammermoor,”  an in-depth look at the music and story of Lucia di Lammermoor — with Maestro Walker and a star-studded panel of opera artists. Free and open to the public. No reservations required. More information here.  

Next stop on Thursday, November 4, at Opera Columbus, 11 E. Gay Street, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m for Opera’s Greatest Hits at Sugardaddie’s Sumptuous Sweeties. For more information, contact Sarah Rhorer at srhorer@operacolumbus.org or visit www.operacolumbus.org.  

If you’re speedy, next you hightail it over to Quincy Illinois, on Saturday, November 6, to see Muddy River Opera Company’s  “Potpourri of Songs and Roses” at the State Theatre at 434 South 8th Street,  from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Enjoy a  special American Opera Week luncheon, strolling fashion show, entertainment with songs of past operas and musicals, raffle and door prizes.  Tickets are $25. Raffle tickets, which include a one half-hour plane ride over the city and the Mississippi River plus 15 other prizes, are six for $10. For information and tickets, contact abernzen12@gmail.com or 217-242-3829.  

The Turn of the Screw/photo by John Cahill

 

For the last official day of National Opera Week, hustle back to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music on Sunday, November 7, for the final performance of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (one of my favorites!) held at the Patricia Corbett Theater on W, Corry St, at Jefferson Avenue, on the UC Campus at 2:30 p.m.  This production is directed by Amanda Consol and conducted by Christopher Allen. Tickets are $15 for General Admission; $10 for non-UC Students (UC Students are free). For information, contact boxoff@uc.edu.  

There you go, Alice. A week jam-packed with opera because these organizations participate in National Opera Week.  

And if any of you, dear readers, want to know what’s on the docket in your neck of the words, you can use the nifty little search engine on the Opera America site to find the complete slate of events–from Alabama to Wisconsin.

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Filed under 21st Century Opera, Character from DEVILED BY DON, Live opera performance, Opera Marketing

the perfect opera for the marryin’ month in a sardonic world . . .

Lucia, the quintessential bridezilla

 

So, WEtv thinks they’ve got a lock on bridezillas?        

The cable network’s got nothin’ compared to the opera-sphere. You want a bridezilla? How about Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti’s murdering missus?        

Traditionally, June has been the most popular month for marriage, probably because the Roman goddess Juno, for which June was named, was also the goddess of marriage. (Perhaps the fact that roses are in bloom has something to do with it, too.)        

So, I find it perfectly ironic when opera companies and festivals like Arbor Opera Theatre present Lucia di Lammermoor in June. 

Sidebar: It actually premiered in September, on the 26th of the month in Naples in 1853, and was based on Sir Walter Scott’s novel, The Bride of Lammermoor. It  is considered Gaetano Donizetti’s masterwork.        

If WEtv thinks brides who scream at their attendants are bridezillas worthy of Nielsen Ratings, how about a bride who murders the groom on their wedding night?        

So, gentle readers, any other bridezillas from operas–besides Lucia di Lammermoor? Or is Lucia the best of the worst?

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Filed under Classic Opera, masterpieces