Natalie Dessay Lucia Di Lammermoor

Natalie Dessay Lucia Di Lammermoor-77
Having been dramatically underwhelming in Act I, Dessay grew in stature during Act II and proved herself to be a strong actress during the duet with Enrico and the wedding scene.

Having been dramatically underwhelming in Act I, Dessay grew in stature during Act II and proved herself to be a strong actress during the duet with Enrico and the wedding scene.

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The same thing happened to John Relyea in Raimondo's aria in Act III, Scene 2, and it is difficult to see what his alternative was, since he was getting next to no response from the chorus to the shocking events he was relating.

Zimmerman does appear to have paid significant attention to the chorus during the Sextet in Act II, Scene 2, where they have the function of acting as gossips, observing what should be a tense dramatic situation following the sudden entrance of Edgardo after Lucia has signed her marriage contract with Arturo.

It is unclear why she chose to update the drama from its original late seventeenth century setting to the mid-nineteenth century, but the results of so doing include making the premise for the Ashton-Ravenswood feud rather less likely, and Edgardo's mission to France a very strange whim, given how far beyond the auld alliance Zimmerman's context is.

There are gains to be made as well however, since Enrico's straightened circumstances and faded grandeur can be more acutely conveyed when their effects are shown in a dishevelled nineteenth-century reception room as opposed to a seventeenth-century baronial hall, when the interior design options available were more primitive.

Having chorus members carry her out, so that the crowning E flat came across as Lucia was literally being dragged off kicking and screaming (with no criticism of Dessay's delivery of this note being intended in the use of the word 'screaming'), was a brilliant idea.

I'm not sure I have ever seen a piece of opera direction manage to justify an un-written display note with quite that much success.

His singing earlier in the evening had been appealing, if not completely free of issues, but by the end of his final scene he was absolutely exhausted.

He had enough commitment to carry his difficult closing aria off, but his top notes betrayed considerable strain.

The look of the whole production, with the exception of the Wolf's Crag scene where the set is rather perfunctory, is fantastic.

Act I, Scene 2 in particular, the fountain in the woods, has a set of breathtaking realism, with snow falling throughout the harp solo, and some excellent lighting design to show dawn breaking and the sun gradually rising throughout the love duet.

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