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After over seven decades, witness how the compelling and tragic tale unfolds in the country

Enthusiasts of operas and casual audiences are no strangers to tales of love that end in tragedies. Feuding families, secret marriages, and unhappy finales commonly make up these narratives, with the play Romeo and Juliet best illustrating these themes. While Lucia Di Lammermoor is similar to the iconic Shakespeare tragedy, this beloved opera explores how love can easily cross the thin line between happiness and madness. Watch how such a tragic story of the bride of Lammermoor unfolds in the Cultural Center of the Philippines on January 31 and February 2, 2020.

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(Photo from BBC UK)
(Photo from classical mpr)

Unfolding the tragedy

Set in Scotland in the 17th century, Lucia Di Lammermoor follows the story of Lucia Ashton who falls in love with Edgardo Ravenswood. He turns out to be the leader of the political enemies of the Ashtons. Hence, Lucia’s brother Enrico forces her to marry another man and weaves a lie that Edgardo betrayed Lucia. Believing Enrico, Lucia falls into the depths of sorrow, devastation, and eventually, loss of sanity.

Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti first brought this libretto of Salvadore Cammarano to life in Naples in 1835. In the country, it was first staged in 1948 at the University of Santo Tomas Gym. The opera eventually became a favorite with the realistic portrayal of Lucia amidst gothic and psychological themes. The bride’s descent into sheer madness is the highly-anticipated scene. One must prepare to witness and experience the gripping depiction of the heart-wrenching sentiments of Lucia.

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(Photo from Utah Opera)
Camille Lopez-Molina, Byeong In Park, CCP President Nick Lizaso, Italian Embassy Ambassador Giorgio Guglielmino, Arthur Espiritu, Melody Louledjian, Rustan’s Chairman and CEO Nedy Tantoco, Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini, and Prince Ravivaddhana Monipong Sisowath. (Photo from SSI)

Bringing the story to life

Soprano Melody Louledjian portrays Lucia while tenor Arthur Espiritu plays the role of Edgardo. In a press conference, the two opera singers reveal they have met only a day before. Many took it as a surprise and wondered about the dynamics between the two. Yet Melody shares with enthusiasm there was chemistry when they met. She and Arthur share a similar “musical feeling” after all.

Lucia is indeed one of the most sought-after roles of sopranos. Despite the many legendary singers who played the role before, Melody reveals she feels no uneasiness. “They did something monumental; I have to find my own,” she explains. It is a refreshing statement from an opera singer whose debut turns out to be this challenging opera. Melody only desires to “make Lucia true” and interpret how her madness is rooted in a deeper reason.

Like Melody, Arthur wants the opera to affect the lives of the audiences, stir up their emotions with his portrayal. CCP Chair Nick Lizaso echoes a similar sentiment especially in bringing opera to more audiences. “Don’t teach people, let them feel… Feeling is being human all the time.”

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(Photo from Classical Source)

Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini is the director of the opera while Ravivaddhana Monipong Sisowath is the assistant director. Together, they bring to life the beloved yet challenging opera to the Philippines with the help of Rustan Group of Companies chairman and CEO Zenaida Tantoco. With the efforts of several sponsors and the passion and hard work of the actor-singers, Lucia Di Lammermoor will be an unforgettable performance. Watching the opera is indeed an astounding way to start the year.

For tickets, call the CCP Box Office at 8832-3704 or TicketWorld at 8891-9999. For more information, visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph.

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