Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848), a master of bel canto and Italian romantic opera left a huge impact on the development of operatic art in the period between Rossini and Verdi, whom he greatly influenced as well. He composed an enviable number of 75 Italian- and French-language operas, as well as a myriad of instrumental and vocal pieces. At the height of his career he created Lucia di Lammermoor - one of the most popular operas of the 19th century. Donizetti's romantic masterpiece, whose plot rests on the famous, emotionally cruel and dark historical novel by Sir Walter Scott, depicting a true story of a murder that has shocked Scotland in the 17th century, was premiered at the San Carlo Opera in Neaples, in 1835. Donizetti's narrative, based on the universal theme of love and loss, filled with melodramatic turns of events, is a tragic and terrifying story about a woman who finds herself in a whirlwind of passion and revenge. Created most carefully and elaborately by both its composer and librettist, this opera has always enjoyed a lot of attention among its audience, whereas the scene of Lucia's madness is considered one of the most famous operatic scenes of all times, equally worshipped by this opera's interpreters as well as its audiences. Lucia di Lammermoor or Lucia of Lammermoor has seen six productions on the Ljubljana opera stage, the first in 1907 and the last in 1990. This time the production of the famous opera, performed in its original form, was in the hands of stage director Frank Van Laecke, known in Ljubljana for his successful staging of the opera Kat'a Kabanova.
Text: Tatjana Ažman