LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR Opera Orlando's 2023-24 All for Art MainStage Series at Steinmetz Hall

stellar cast takes the stage in opera orlando’s lucia di lammermoor spotlight

By: Feb. 23, 2024
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR Opera Orlando's 2023-24 All for Art MainStage Series at Steinmetz Hall
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Opera Orlando's 2023-24 All for Art MainStage series at Steinmetz Hall comes to a close this April with a Game of Thrones-inspired take on Donizetti's Bel Canto masterpiece Lucia di Lammermoor, starring international soprano Marnie Breckenridge in the title role.

Torn between allegiance to her brother Enrico, sung by Grammy award-winning baritone Gabriel Preisser, and her love for Enrico's sworn enemy Edgardo, sung by tenor Ben Gulley, Lucia is forced into an arranged marriage that leads to tragic consequences for all involved. 

There are only two performances of this dark, original production designed and directed by Opera Orlando artistic director Grant Preisser, with Robert Wood, making his Company debut, conducting the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. “Lucia di Lammermoor is based on the Sir Walter Scott story The Bride of Lammermoor, which recounts a supposedly true story of a woman who kills her newlywed husband on their wedding night, and then goes mad,” shares Grant Preisser. “Donizetti adapted this story into a lush, passionate opera set against the brutal, violent backdrop of Scotland, leaning into the Gothic romanticism of the tale. For our version of this opera, I really wanted to push the supernatural and fantasy elements of the story and put it in a world where clans, politics, and intrigue exist and that would excite a modern audience. The mythology of Game of Thrones was a perfect fit to do just that.”

Set in Winterfell at the White Wall, Enrico heads the Stark household. He cares for his sister Lucia, but also uses her as a pawn and bargaining chip in the hopes that an arranged marriage for her will put the House of Stark in a better financial and military position. Soprano Marnie Breckenridge makes her Opera Orlando debut singing the iconic Bel Canto role of Lucia. She is highly praised for her warm and sparkling voice and is a leading figure in the new music and contemporary opera world, in addition to singing more traditional roles that include Lucia with Mobile Opera and Indianapolis Opera, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte and Olga in The Merry Widow with San Francisco Opera, and Gilda in Rigoletto with Festival Opera. She has regularly performed under the baton of Lorin Maazel at his Castleton Foundation and on tour, and she has headlined eight world premieres of award winning new operas and countless art songs by living composers, most recently winning the 2020 Dora award for outstanding performance by an individual for Jacqueline. From London to New York to Tokyo, Ms. Breckenridge has graced opera and symphony stages around the world, and she is also a consummate recording artist, producing a solo holiday album entitled Happy Golden Days and performing with Dmitri Hvorostovsky as a featured soloist on his Heroes & Villains album.

Playing opposite Ms. Breckenridge as Lucia's lover and Enrico's enemy is acclaimed tenor and Opera Orlando favorite Ben Gulley. The role of Edgardo in this production marks Mr. Gulley's third role with Opera Orlando having last been seen as Dick Johnson in the 2020 site specific production of The Girl of the Golden West. An exceptionally versatile artist, Mr. Gulley's recent seasons have included feature roles in opera, solo engagements, concert, film work, and tours. Recent artistic and critical triumphs include his 2022 Broadway World Best Actor in a Musical award-winning debut as Quasimodo in Dennis DeYoung's Hunchback of Notre Dame with Skylight Music Theater, a debut as Cavaradossi in Tosca with Sarasota Opera, tenor soloist in Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and tenor soloist in Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde opposite mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung with the Belgian National Orchestra in Brussels and Namur, Belgium. 

Singing the role of Enrico, who pushes Lucia to her mental limit, is Opera Orlando general director and Grammy award-winning baritone Gabriel Preisser. In addition to running the Opera, Mr. Preisser is a prolific performer who is critically acclaimed by both The New York Times and Opera News. He has sung with various companies across the U.S. including the Minnesota Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Opera Tampa, San Antonio Opera, and Opera Idaho. Most notably, he created the role of Lt. Gordon in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night at Minnesota Opera, with subsequent performances at Opera Philadelphia, Detroit Opera, Utah Opera, Cincinnati Opera, and on national PBS broadcasts. On the concert stage Mr. Preisser has garnered praise for his dynamic interpretations of Orff's Carmina Burana and Walton's Belshazzar's Feast with the Canterbury Chorale, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Atlanta Ballet, Orlando Ballet, and Jacksonville Symphony.

Rounding out the cast will be Chinese bass Zaikuan Song singing the role of Raimondo and local tenor John Teixeira as Normanno, with Opera Orlando Studio Artists mezzo-soprano Linda Collazo as Alisa and tenor David Soto Zambrana singing the role of Arturo. They will be joined by members of the Opera Orlando Chorus and dancers from the Orlando Ballet.

Lucia di Lammermoor

music by Gaetano Donizetti and libretto by Salvadore Cammarano

sung in Italian with English and Spanish supertitles 

age advisory: PG-13

Friday  |  April 19. 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday  |  April 21, 2024 at 2 p.m.

Estimated run time is two hours and 45 minutes with one intermission. A pre-show talk, free for all ticket holders, will be held on stage 50 minutes prior to each performance.

Tickets

Individual tickets for Lucia di Lammermoor start at just $29 and are on sale now through the Dr. Phillips Center's Bill & Mary Darden Box Office (445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando), online at www.DrPhillipsCenter.org, or by calling (407) 839-0119, ext. 0. 




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