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Synopsis

Sir Walter Scott’s story of a Scottish girl forced by her family into an arranged marriage still resonates today, two centuries after it was published. Donizetti’s opera, which premièred in Naples in 1835, is famous particularly for the Mad Scene when Lucia, after leaving for her nuptials, reappears having murdered the man she has just married, the unfortunate Arturo. She truly loves Edgardo, sworn enemy of her family, who turned up moments too late to stop the wedding.The story unfolds in diverse and sensational locations – a fountain haunted by a murdered woman, a ruined tower called The Wolf’s Crag, and a graveyard where Edgardo – a part played by both Domingo and Pavarotti – hears of Lucia’s death and stabs himself. Immortalised by such stars as Joan Sutherland, the role of Lucia herself provides an immense challenge for even the best of sopranos. Written by Michael Steen, author of the acclaimed The Lives and Times of the Great Composers, ‘Short Guides to Great Operas’ are concise, entertaining and easy to read books about opera. Each is an opera guide packed with useful information and informed opinion, helping to make you a truly knowledgeable opera-goer, and so maximising your enjoyment of a great musical experience. Other ‘Short Guides to Great Operas’ that you may enjoy include L’Elisir d’Amore, La Bohème and La Traviata.

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