Virginia Opera Presents ‘Lucia Di Lammermoor’ at Center for the Arts

Posted: March 27, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Virginia Opera invites the public to don kilts and tartans for its final production of the season, Gaetano Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor,” which will take audiences on a powerful musical and dramatic journey to the hills of 18th-century Scotland.

The Virginia Opera will perform this tale of tragic romance at Mason’s Center for the Arts on Friday, April 18, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 20, at 2 p.m.

The Virginia Opera’s assistant artistic director, Joseph Walsh, will conduct the performance in Fairfax.

Based on the popular novel, “The Bride of Lammermoor,” by Sir Walter Scott, Donizetti’s masterpiece follows to its shocking and tragic conclusion the story of a secret love between Lucia and Edgardo, members of rival Scottish families that have engaged in bloody feuding for generations.

“We are taking a serious dramatic approach to this instead of the stock ‘warhorse’ production that is so often seen and heard,” says Virginia Opera Artistic Director Peter Mark.

“While this is a singer’s opera – and we certainly have the singers – we are also fortunate to have Dorothy Danner returning in the director’s chair to help create an experience that she describes a true ‘adventure story.’ Her history of incredible success with us leaves me no doubt that we are indeed in for a great adventure.”

Danner previously directed the Virginia Opera productions of “Susannah” (2006), “Carmen” (2006), “La Traviata” (2005) and “The Merry Widow” (2005).

Starring in the title role is the beautiful returning French soprano Manon Strauss Evrard, who received rave reviews as all four leading ladies in the company’s season opener, “Tales of Hoffmann.”

As Lucia, Strauss Evrard will tackle the back-to-back arias of the famous “mad scene” – a marathon tour-de-force for operatic sopranos that is generally acknowledged to include some of the most challenging, vulnerable and exposed sections written for voice; yet has been a breakthrough vehicle for a diverse array of stars. This will be Strauss Evrard’s first appearance in the title role.

“Manon’s performances in ‘Hoffmann’ were astounding,” says Mark, who is convinced that she is on her way to operatic stardom.

“When you come right down to it, though, the mad scene is much more demanding than any single aria in ‘Hoffmann.’ It is a mature role, and we are fortunate to have a talent like Manon who not only looks the part, but is also able to perform it with personal distinction at such a relatively young age.”

Making his Virginia Opera debut as Edgardo – Lucia’s secret love and a member of the rival Ravenswood family – is Spanish tenor Israel Lozano. Also debuting are Romanian baritone Sebastian Catana as Enrico – Lucia’s brother and lord of the Ashton family – and American bass Christian Van Horn as Raimondo, Lucia’s tutor.

Performances will be sung in Italian with Digitext Supertitles projected above the stage. The estimated running time, including two intermissions, is two hours and 45 minutes.

Tickets are $86, $72 and $44 (Friday), and $94, $78 and $48 (Sunday). Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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