Lucia di Lammermoor mad scene Essay

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Music 360 Fall 2012 History paper Lucia di Lammermoor- Mad scene Lucia di Lammermoor, written in 1835, is an opera by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) based on the novel The Bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter Scott. The opera is often called a masterpiece and has, thus far, stood the test of time. It was not only popular in its day, but remains popular repertory today and performed by companies around the world every year. The “Mad Scene” has been remarked as a reason to go to the opera. The scene uses motives from earlier in the opera that show a mind going insane, in addition to utilizing elaborate coloratura and vocal flourishes. This opera is said to touch the heart the way few others can do, as a masterpiece and “heralding…show more content…
Scott accomplished the crucial love-plight without a single word of dialogue, which is not very reasonable for opera. Happily ignoring Scott’s need to move the plot along, Donizetti gives lovers, Lucia and Edgardo, a dreamy love duet theme, which breathes the essence of bel canto romantic love.12 In addition, Lucia’s actions in the operatic mad scene, spur from this passage: The next evening, the physicians said, would be the crisis of her malady. It proved so; for although she awoke from her trance with some appearance of calmness, and suffered her nightclothes to be changed or put in order, yet as soon as she put her hand to her neck, as if to search for the fatal blue ribbon, a tide of recollections seemed to rush upon her, which her mind and body alike incapable of bearing.13 It is clear that the novel is the inspiration, but has been changed a little for the bel canto style and for entertainment. The opera is able to transform the characters into something a little more pleasing to the audience. One writer finds that Scott’s Lucy seems inarticulate and frightening, whereas Lucia seems detached from reality but able to express sentiments in a gracious and highly stylized way.14 Lucia di Lammermoor was composed after Donizetti had returned to Naples form Paris for the premier of

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