Houston Grand Opera (HGO) continues its 2010-11 season with a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor, Gaetano Donizetti's bel canto masterpiece, opening on Friday, January 28, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in the Brown Theater of the Wortham Theater Center.
"Lucia di Lammermoor is a veritable showcase of elaborate and athletic singing," said HGO's General Director and CEO Anthony Freud. "It requires a central quartet of singers of the greatest technical virtuosity and vocal charisma. We have assembled some of the best young voices for this new production."
The volatile religious and political conflicts of two ancient Scottish clans fuel the drama of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. HGO Studio alumni Albina Shagimuratova and Scott Hendricks, who thrilled audiences in HGO's production of Verdi's Rigoletto in 2009, make their role debuts as Lucia and her brother Enrico. "Far beyond its Scottish setting, its interesting history, and its performance challenges, Lucia di Lammermoor is, more than anything, a celebration of the human voice," says HGO Music Director Patrick Summers. "The first time I heard the voice of Albina Shagimuratova, I thought I had indeed stepped back into a golden age, for rarely had I experienced such tonal radiance coupled with a timbre that sounded like none I'd ever heard."
American tenor Dimitri Pittas, whom Opera News calls "a huge talent with an easy ringing tenor voice," makes his HGO debut in the role of Edgardo, the scion of the Ravenswoods and secret love of Lucia. American bass and HGO Studio alumnus Oren Gradus (Leporello in HGO's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, 2006) joins the cast as the minister Raimondo.
Drama Desk and Tony Award-winning Scottish director John Doyle (Sweeney Todd - Broadway, 2006) and designer Liz Ascroft create intense drama amid the ever-shifting Scottish landscape in this new Houston Grand Opera production. Late seventeenth-century period costumes and broad expansive skyscapes dominate this new production. "It will be a beautiful production that is both true to the spirit of Sir Walter Scott's novel, and to the intense drama of Donizetti's thrilling opera," explains Freud. This production also features lighting by British designer Jane Cox.