Utah Opera's Season Continues with Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" Featured

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (February, 23 2017) – In March 2017, Utah Opera will present a perennial favorite, Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor,” the tale of two doomed lovers struggling against forces beyond their control, for the first time since 2007. This production will be performed five times at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre on March 11, 13, 15, 17 at 7:30 PM and March 19 at 2 PM. Tickets, priced from $21-$103, are available for purchase through www.utahopera.org or by calling (801) 533-6683

Director Tom Diamond will bring Donizetti’s Gothic tale of “Lucia di Lammermoor” to life at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre alongside veteran Utah Opera conductor Gary Thor Wedow, who will conduct the cast, musicians of the Utah Symphony, and Utah Opera Chorus. This production will feature the debuts of soprano Nicole Haslett in the title role, and tenor Mackenzie Whitney as Edgardo, Baritone James Westeman, who was last with Utah Opera in 2014 for “La traviata”, and bass-baritone Derrick Parker, a long-time favorite with Utah Opera and Utah Symphony audiences, return to the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre stage as Enrico and Raimondo, respectively. Utah Opera Resident Artist Christian Sanders is featured in the role of Normanno. Costumes for the production are designed by Susan Memmott Allred and constructed at the state-of-the-art Utah Opera Production Studios by local Utah artisans.

This tragic love story revolves around a solider, Edgardo, and his love, the noblewoman Lucia, members of opposing houses in Scotland who are carrying on a secret love affair. Her brother, Lord, Enrico Ashton, forces Lucia to marry another nobleman, Arturo by lying to her saying Edgardo has betrayed her and married someone else. Lucia is devastated and so deep in her grief she begins to lose her sanity leading to one of the most shocking scenes on the operatic stage.

Says Mr. Diamond of Utah Opera’s production “Imagine, if you will, the plight of the protagonist and title character of our story, Lucy Ashton [Lucia in Donizetti’s Italian score]. She resides with her family in Lammermoor Hills of Scotland in the 17th century. Lucy is an emotionally vulnerable young lady at a time when women were goods and chattels, and marriages were made more to accommodate political alliances, then about whom they loved.”

“For opera fans whose love of the art form revolves around the human voice and the extraordinary feats of which it is capable, this opera is special” said Utah Opera Artistic Director Christopher McBeth. “Scene after scene is marked by singing of Hercuulean feats and towards the end we witness one of the most iconic moments in all of opera. It requires singer actors with the highest level of technique to pull off this masterpiece.”

The performance will last approximately 3 hours with two intermissions.  

RELATED EVENTS
Gary Thor Wedow will offer a masterclass for University of Utah Lyric Opera Ensemble students; and the public is invited to observe. Friday, March 10, 2-4 PM in the Vocal Arts Center at the University of Utah (104 South 1386 East).

Utah Symphony | Utah Opera's education and community outreach department facilitates an online "learn before you go" series prior to each opera. Online learning materials about “Lucia di Lammermoor” have been prepared Dr. Paul Dorgan professor at the University of Utah School of Music. Check them out at www.utahopera.org/onlinelearning.

Utah Opera and media partner “Salt Lake Magazine” present Libretti & Libations, a promotion with eight of Salt Lake City's and Park City's top mixologists offering craft cocktails inspired by the storyline and characters of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor”. Participants are encouraged to post photos of the craft cocktails on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #UtahOperaSips to enter a contest to win a pair of tickets to Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor". For more details about Libretti & Libations and a complete list of participating restaurants, visit www.utahopera.org/libations.

On March 9, students in grades 7 through 12 can attend Utah Opera's final dress rehearsal of "Lucia di Lammermoor” at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre through "Opera-tunities Night" for only $5. The price is the same for teachers/chaperones accompanying students. Visit www.usuoeducation.org/index.php/for-schools/opera-tunitiesfor more information.

Opening night on March 11 will feature a red carpet event during which patrons can pose for a free photo. Photos will be posted on the Utah Opera Facebook page, allowing participants the chance to tag themselves during their night out on the town. Visit www.facebook.com/utahoperafor more information. The starting time of the red carpet event is 6:30 PM.

Utah Opera Principal Coach Carol Anderson will offer an Opera Prelude Lecture, free of charge for ticket holders, in the Capitol Room of the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre (50 West 200 South) one hour before curtain for each performance.

Utah Opera Artistic Director Christopher McBeth will hold a Q&A session, free of charge for ticket holders, immediately following each performance in the Capitol Room of the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre (50 West 200 South).

 

PROGRAM
Utah Opera Presents
Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor
Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre, 50 West 200 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101

March 11, 13, 15, 17 | 7:30 PM
March 19 | 2 PM

“Lucia di Lammermoor”
Written by Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Salvatore Cammarano
Permformed in Italian with English Supertitles

Setting: Scotland, 1700’s  
 

SPONSORS
Utah Opera Season Sponsor: George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
Production Sponsor: The Grand America Hotel
Set and Costume Sponsor: Frederick Q. Lawson Foundation
Opera Artistic Director Sponsor:Emma Eccles Jones Foundation
Supertitles Sponsor: S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation; Ray Quinney & Nebeker Foundation         
Leading Lady (Nicole Haslett as Lucia) Sponsor: Joanne Shiebler Guest Artist Fund
Opening Performance Sponsor:C. Cornstock Clayton Foundation
Monday Performance Sponsor: Naoma Tate and the Family of Hal Tate
Wednesday Performance Sponsor: J. Wong’s Asian Bistro
Friday Performance Sponsor: Janet Q. Lawson Foundation
Floral Season Sponsor:Every Blooming Thing
Cast Party Sponsor:J. Wong’s Asian Bistro

CAST
Normanno…..........................................Christian Sanders*
Enrico....................................................James Westman
Raimondo..............................................Derrick Parker
Lucia......................................................Nicole Haslett
Alisa.......................................................Aubrey Adams-McMillan
Edgardo.................................................Mackenzie Whitney
Arturo.....................................................Tyson Miller**

ARTISTIC STAFF
Conductor…………………………….…...Gary Thor Wedow
Director……………………………….…....Tom Diamond
Set Designer……………………………....Robert O’ Hearn
Costume Designer…………………….....Susan Memmott Allred
Lighting Designer…………………………Nicholas Cavallaro
Wigs/Make-up Designer…………………Yancey J. Quick
Chorus Master………………………..…..Michael Spassov
Musical Preparation………………….…..Carol Anderson
Guest Coach………………………………Christopher Turbessi
Rehearsal Pianist/Supertitle Musician.….Timothy Accurso*
Stage Manager…………………………....Kathleen Edwards
Assistant Stage Manager……………..…Sarah Johnson

*Current Utah Opera Resident Artist.
**Former Utah Opera Resident Artist

Set and costumes constructed by Utah Opera.


SYNOPSIS
Setting: Scotland, 1700’s, Ravenswood Castle in the District of Lammermoor

Act I
Normanno, gamekeeper and head huntsman (or “ghillie,” as the Scots say), has been sent with his men by Enrico, master of Ravenswood, to apprehend a stranger who has been lurking about the castle grounds. Enrico soon joins the men and shares with Normanno his apprehension about his family’s declining fortunes. He plans to coerce his sister, Lucia, into an advantageous marriage with Arturo, the only person who can assist Enrico in overcoming his political rival, Edgardo, the former master of Ravenswood.

Lucia is adamantly opposed to the marriage and is defended by Raimondo, a Presbyterian cleric who stoutly asserts that Lucia is hesitant because she is grieving for her recently deceased mother. Normanno blurts out the truth: Lucia, every morning at dawn, has been secretly meeting Edgardo, with whom she has been deeply in love ever since he rescued her from a charging bull. Lucia, accompanied by her maid, Alisa, waits for her rendezvous with Edgardo by a haunted fountain. Although Alisa encourages her to abandon Edgardo, Lucia vehemently asserts her allegiance and refuses to forsake him. When Edgardo arrives, he proposes to approach Enrico to ask for Lucia’s hand in marriage, but Lucia insists that their engagement be kept a secret. They exchange rings and promises.

Act II
Months have passed, and the wedding of Lucia and Arturo is at hand. Devious Normanno has intercepted letters between Edgardo and Lucia. He also presents a forged document addressed to Lucia, purportedly from Edgardo, stating that he loves another. Lucia crumbles when Enrico threatens himself bodily harm if she does not comply with his demands and describes the dire fate which will befall him if she refuses to marry Arturo.

And so the marriage contract is placed before her; even the kindly chaplain, Raimondo encourages her, insisting that she has no alternative. She signs. Now she meets her future bridegroom, Arturo, for the first time. At this unpropitious moment, Edgardo arrives to claim Lucia as his bride, asserting that they are engaged. When Raimondo shows him the signed marriage contract, Edgardo snatches the ring from her finger, curses her faithlessness and leaves in a fury.

Act III
Joyous wedding guests celebrate the marriage of Arturo and Lucia. The festivities are interrupted when Raimondo enters with the stunning news that Lucia has stabbed Arturo to death and descended into madness. Enter Lucia, bathed in blood, dagger in hand, babbling about her forthcoming marriage to Edgardo, stating that she will see him in heaven. Enrico enters furious with Lucia for ruining his plans, but once he realizes that she has gone mad, is overcome with pity and remorse. Lucia loses consciousness, and dies later that evening. At Ravenswood cemetery, Edgardo awaits his duel with Enrico. When he learns of Lucia’s tragic death as Lucia's funeral cortege passes by, he is inconsolable and stabs himself, vowing he will meet his beloved in heaven.

GUEST ARTIST BIOS
Christian Sanders (Colorado)
Normanno
Most recently at Utah Opera, “Man of La Mancha”
Current Utah Opera Resident Artist
Recently:
“Manon”, Des Moines Metro Opera;
“Aïda”, “The Merry Window”, The Marriage of Figaro, and Carmen,” Utah Opera
Upcoming:
“Billy Budd” and “A Little Night Music”, Des Moines Metro Opera

James Westman (Canada)
Enrico
Most recently at Utah Opera, “La traviata”
Recently:
“Vanessa”, Wexford Festival (Ireland);
“La traviata”, Canadian Opera Company;
“Tosca”, Opéra de Québec;
Upcoming:
“Louis Riel”, Canadian Opera Company;

Derrick Parker (Washington)
Raimondo
Most recently at Utah Opera, “Aïda”
Recently:
Mozart’s Requiem, Utah Symphony;
“Porgy and Bess”, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra;
“Showboat”, Kentucky Opera

Nicole Haslett (New Jersey)
Lucia
Utah Opera Debut
Recently:
“Die Fledermaus”, Cincinnati Opera;
“Die Zauberflöte”, “PeterGrimes”, “Die Liebe der Danae”, and “Carmen”, Deautsche Oper Berlin
Upcoming:
“Ariadne auf Naxos”, Berkshire Opera Festival;
“Le prophète” and “Die Fledermaus”, Deutsche Oper Berlin

Aubrey Adams-McMillan (Utah)
Alisa
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “Man of La Mancha”
Recently:
“Noye’s Fludde”, Cathedral of the Madeleine”;
“The Barber of Seville” and “Hansel and Gretel”, Utah Lyric Opera
Upcoming;
Renaissance concert, Utopia Early Music

Mackenzie Whitney (Iowa)
Edgardo
Utah Opera Debut
Recently:
“Rigoletto;” Opera on the James;
“La bohème”, Hawaii Opera Theatre;
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Lakes Area Music Festival
Upcoming:
“Madama Butterfly”, Heartbeat Opera;
“Florencia en el Amazonas”, Madison Opera

Tyson Miller (Utah)
Arturo
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “The Merry Window”
Recently:
“Carmen”, El Paso Opera;
“La fanciulla del West”, The Santa Fe Opera
“The Rake’s Progress”, Former Utah Opera Resident Artist
Upcoming:
“Ariodante”, The English Concert

 

ARTISTIC STAFF
Gary Thor Wedow (New York)
Conductor
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “The Marriage of Figaro”
Recently:
“La cenerentola”, San Diego Opera (debut);
Mozart’s Requiem, Alice Tully Hall, The Julliard School Orchestra and Westminster Choir College Chorus;
“Orphéeet Eurydice”, Gluck, Des Moines Metro Opera
Upcoming:
“The Magic Flute”, Madison Opera;
“War Stories”, Opera Philadelphia
“Die Fledermaus”, Utah Opera

Tom Diamond (Canada)
Stage Director
Utah Opera Debut
Recently:
“Rodelinda”, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music;
“Fidelio”, Sarasota Opera, Opera Carolina;
Turandot”, Opera Carolina, Manitoba Opera;
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Pacific Opera Victoria;
“Lakme”, Calgary Opera
Upcoming:
“The Enslavement and Liberation of Oksana G”, Tapestry New Opera/Toronto (world premiere);
“Eugene Onegin”, Calgary Opera;
“Roméo et Juliette”, Opéra de Montréal

Susan Memmott Allred (Utah)
Costume Designer
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “Carmen”
Recently:
PBS Christmas Special with Mormon Tabernacle Choir 2016;
Resident Designer, Utah Opera, 1979-2011;
Mormon Miracle Pageant;
Utah Shakespeare Festival;
Southern Utah State College;
Recipient of the Governor’s Award for contribution to the arts in Utah

Yancey J. Quick (Utah)
Wig and Make-up Designer
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “Man of La Mancha”
Recently:
Resident Wig and Makeup Designer, Utah Opera;
Wig Master, Ballet West;
Wig and Makeup Designer, Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre

Michael Spassov (Canada)
Utah Opera Resident Chorusmaster
Most Recently at Utah Opera, “Man of La Mancha
Recently:
“Capriccio,” “La fanciulla del West”, The Santa Fe Opera;
“Roméo et Juliette”, Atlanta Opera
Upcoming:
“Don Giovanni”, Utah Opera
 

About Utah Opera
Utah Opera, established by Glade Peterson in 1978, has been part of the community for more than 35 years and engages Utah residents through inspiring operatic performances. The opera company presents four annual productions at the historic Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre. Utah Opera operates a full production studio where productions are rehearsed and costumes, props and set pieces are designed, made, rented out and stored. The opera currently has 19 full sets and costumes for 50 full productions in its inventory. Utah Opera also offers a Resident Artist Program, a nationally recognized young artist training program for professional singers and pianists who perform for more than 70,000 students each year through the organization’s education and outreach activities. For more information, visit www.utahopera.org.

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Season Sponsor for Utah Symphony | Utah Opera is the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.

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