Met moves Donizetti opera to decaying American town

Apr 20, 2022 245

BY: Mike Silverman

Call it bel canto in the Rust Belt. The Metropolitan Opera’s new production of “Lucia di Lammermoor” plucks the ill-fated heroine out of the Scottish hills where Sir Walter Scott placed her in his 1819 novel and where Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti kept her in his opera 16 years later.

Instead, director Simon Stone has transplanted her to a contemporary American town whose once-prosperous residents are suffering the effects of economic decline and where the pharmacy and pawnshop are among the only thriving businesses. “It can feel relaxing to escape and go to a Donizetti opera that’s set in a previous era,” Stone said in a panel discussion at the opera house during rehearsal.

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