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Review: LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR at Artscape, Opera House

What did our critic think of LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR at Artscape, Opera House?

By: Jun. 20, 2024
Review: LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR at Artscape, Opera House  Image
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Review: LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR at Artscape, Opera House  ImageIn celebration of Cape Town Opera’s 25th Anniversary, the company has brought back its inaugural production, Gaetano Donizetti’s LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR. Under the masterful direction of Cape Town Opera's founder, Angelo Gobbato, this revival is both a tribute to the company's rich history and a showcase of its enduring talent and artistic vision.

Donizetti’s LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR remains a staple of the Bel Canto repertoire, revered for its complex vocal lines and dramatic intensity. The opera, set in 17th-century Scotland, tells the tragic story of Lucia Ashton, caught in a web of family feuds and political intrigue. Brittany Smith, Cape Town Opera’s Fleur du Cap-winning star, takes on the demanding title role. Smith’s portrayal of Lucia is both captivating and poignant, showcasing her remarkable vocal talent and emotional depth.

Brittany Smith, Cape Town Opera’s Fleur du Cap-winning soprano, delivers a remarkable performance as Lucia. Her portrayal captures Lucia’s descent into madness with haunting authenticity. Smith's vocal prowess is on full display, particularly in the infamous "mad scene," where her coloratura technique and emotional expression are truly mesmerizing, stretching the boundaries of vocal performance.

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Kamal Khan, delivers a powerful performance that complements the dramatic intensity of the opera. Khan’s direction ensures that the orchestra’s performance is nothing short of spectacular, providing a rich, dynamic backdrop to the vocal performances. Khan’s sensitive and nuanced conducting ensures that the music complements and enhances the on-stage drama, creating a seamless and immersive experience.

The production design remains faithful to the opera's historical setting while incorporating modern elements that enhance the visual storytelling. The sets and costumes are meticulously crafted, evoking the grandeur and austerity of 17th-century Scotland. The lighting design further accentuates the dramatic tension, using shadows and highlights to reflect the characters’ inner turmoil and the opera’s dark themes, adding a sensual layer to the visual experience.

This restaging of LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR is a fitting tribute to Cape Town Opera's 25 years of artistic excellence. Under Gobbato's direction, the production not only honours the company’s past but also looks forward to its future, showcasing the enduring power of opera to move and inspire. The combined talents of Brittany Smith, Kamal Khan, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and Angelo Gobbato make this production a triumph and a must-see for opera lovers.

In conclusion, Cape Town Opera's LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR at the Artscape Theatre is a masterful revival that celebrates the company’s legacy while delivering a powerful and moving operatic experience. Angelo Gobbato’s direction, combined with stellar performances and exceptional musical accompaniment, makes this production a highlight of the season and a testament to the enduring appeal of Donizetti’s masterpiece.

Age Restriction: No u16s

Review: LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR at Artscape, Opera House  Image


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