Finally, an operatic heroine I can get
behind! Though technically a Bel Canto, “Lucia di Lammermoor” has all the
makings of all the best Opera de Montreal offerings.
Lucia (Kathleen Kim, Soprano) and Edgardo (Frédéric Antoun, Tenor) are star-crossed lovers, torn apart by Lucia’s brother Enrico (Gregory Dahl, Baritone). In an effort to restore the family fortune and their standing in Scottish society, Enrico has promised Lucia’s hand to Arturo (Mario Bahg, Tenor). She is devastated by this arrangement and promises herself to Edgardo.
With Edgardo temporarily away in France, Lucia is left vulnerable to the decisions of her brother and the chaplin, Raimondo (Oleg Tsibulko). As the wedding day approaches, her despair grows. Having intercepted letters from her lover, Enrico shows her only one. A forged letter letter meant to convince her Edgardo has forsaken her for another, and so she lets herself be married off. When Edgardo returns and discovers what she has done, he is disgusted with her. All of this leads us to the climactic “mad scene.” And that, it certainly is.
What can I say about Kathleen Kim? When Kim
first steps upon the stage, you may find yourself noting her diminutive
stature, but make no mistake, she is a vocal powerhouse. Her voice has the
idyllic quality of a performer born to play Snow White. Instead she appears in
her snow white nightgown, covered in blood, and serenades you like an angel. As
though I hadn’t spent enough time trying to reconcile her despair and
desperation with my own image of her with a bird upon her finger, Kim proceeds
to elegantly duet with the orchestra’s flautist. Pure madness. For all the
women driven mad by the men of their librettos, the role of Lucia delivers the
most evocative interpretation by L’OdM to date.
Gorgeous sets, an enthusiastic conductor, the orchestra in top form, Lucia Di Lammermoor will not disappoint. Just try not to laugh when the deer comes out, you’ll see.
Photos by Yves Renaud