Lucia di Lammermoor

Gaetano Donizetti (1797 – 1848)

18:00 - 20:45
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Information about the work

Dramma tragico in 3 acts
Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano
First preformed on 26th September 1835 at Naples
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 15th December 1980

2 hrs 45 mins / 1 interval

In Italian with German and English surtitles

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance

recommended from 13 years on
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18:00 - 20:45
C-Prices: € 100,00 / € 82,00 / € 58,00 / € 34,00 / € 24,00
Buy tickets
the content

About the work
Enrico wants his sister to marry Lord Arturo Bucklaw, a match that will save his family from bankruptcy, but Lucia has committed to Edgardo Ravenswood, Enrico’s nemesis, who is asserting his right to family land that is now formally owned by Enrico. A forged letter framing Edgardo as having been unfaithful and blaming Lucia for the predicament the family is in enables Enrico to persuade Lucia to marry Lord Bucklaw. Edgardo throws down the gauntlet to Enrico. Lucia goes insane and dies. Edgardo, grief-stricken at the sound of the death knell, stabs himself to death.

Donizetti’s tragic opera, arguably his most famous, is based on Sir Walter Scott’s bestselling novel “The Bride of Lammermoor” (1819). Salvadore Cammarano’s libretto is radical in that it ignores the political backstory to the feud between the Ashtons and Ravenwoods, relegating what has gone before to a few oblique references, and also reduces the complex web of relations in the novel to the three-way friction between Enrico Ashton, his sister Lucia and her lover Edgardo.

Passions run high in this story: Enrico detests Edgardo - and also Lucia, who is trying to thwart his plans. Then there is Lucia’s love for Edgardo, which is destined to be her downfall and which is rendered masterfully by Donizetti’s score. The coloraturas that express the positive effect that love has on her in Act 1 are used at the opera’s climax to indicate her unhinged state in the Mad Scene. Another scene containing extreme drama and emotion is the sextet in Act 2. Giacomo Puccini had the following to say about it: “We Italians do relationships better than the German composers. We know how to express misery in the major key. Edgardo and Lucia are in such utter despair that it sends Lucia mad and drives Edgardo to suicide – and yet we get mellifluous sugar-plum vocals, even though Lucia is bewailing that she’s ‘been betrayed by heaven and earth! I would weep, if tears did not fail me. Despair eats away at my heart.’ This sextet is considered the most famous melody for opera ensemble ever written – and justifiably so. It is a true masterpiece of polyphony …”

About the production
Director and set designer Filippo Sanjust’s production is a period piece reflecting the times when the work was composed (1835). A drop scene with a billowing royal-blue curtain and featuring a girl in diaphanous garb harks back to the Romantic era. The sets are reminiscent of reprints of antiquarian books. In stark and gaudy contrast to these are the black robes, red sashes, white collars, plumes and garters of the Scots – providing an appropriate backdrop to a canonical work of Italian bel canto.

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Advents-Verlosung: Das 2. Fensterchen

In today's Advent calendar window, we are giving away 3 DVDs of "Der Schatzgräber" - an opera in a prelude, four acts and a postlude by Franz Schreker. If you would like to win one of the three DVDs, please send an e-mail today with the subject "The 2nd window" to

DER SCHATZGRÄBER (THE TREASURE HUNTER) by Franz Schreker was a triumph at its world premiere in Frankfurt in 1920 and went on to play 44 times at assorted venues over the next five years. It then fell victim to a shifting zeitgeist and slipped from opera-house programmes, with a National Socialist ban on performances sealing its demise. Even after 1945 the Schreker revival was a long time coming – and THE TREASURE HUNTER has not featured prominently in the renaissance.

As with the vast majority of Schreker’s libretti, the story of Els and Elis explores the relationship between fantasy and reality, between art and life. Soulmates in the sense that they are both at the mercy of the king’s disposition, Els and Elis set off in search of different treasures. Elis, the minstrel, uses his magic lute to locate a stash of jewels and do humanity a good turn. Els, an innkeeper’s daughter who has grown up motherless in a tough, male-chauvinist world, becomes a liar, cheat and murderess in pursuit of her goal, tasking her suitors to steal the queen’s jewels and then having them killed once they have returned with the haul of treasure. Yet even with the gold in their possession, the pair are not content, and so, true to form, Schreker turns his attention to the theme of yearning per se, which is the actual “treasure” that the composer is interested in, “a dream of happiness and redemption”. Elis and Els are caught up in a swirl of dreams, memories, premonitions, songs and music. Their stories take on a dreamlike quality in a world beset by greed, murder and emotional inconstancy. For Franz Schreker the path to redemption could only be via art. Composed during the turmoil of the First World War, the TREASURE HUNTER score amounts to Schreker’s personal confession of artistic faith, executed in florid strokes of late-Romantic musical colour.

Conductor Marc Albrecht; Staging Christof Loy; Set design Johannes Leiacker; Costume design Barbara Drosihn; With Tuomas Pursio, Doke Pauwels, Clemens Bieber, Michael Adams, Joel Allison, Michael Laurenz, Thomas Johannes Mayer, Seth Carico, Daniel Johansson, Gideon Poppe, Stephen Bronk, Elisabet Strid, Patrick Cook, Tyler Zimmerman a. o.; Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

Closing date: 2 December 2023, the winners will be informed by email on 4 December 2023. The DVDs will then be sent by post. Legal recourse is excluded.