Lucia di Lammermoor, London Coliseum - ★★★★★ - 2018


The first production of anything one sees is going to act as a touchstone. My first Lucia was Zeffirelli's production at Covent Garden with Joan Sutherland in 1964. As with most of his productions it went for hyper-glamorous realism. Sutherland was fabulous with the young Pavarotti. Recently styles have changed as demonstrated (detestably) in spades - and blood - at Covent Garden a couple of years ago. Here at ENO we have a brilliant production by David Alden. This is no grand romantic canary fancier's flutter through the ledger lines, but a wonderfully dark and dire horror story with some great singing attached. Superbly designed by Charles Edwards we're in a grey and crumbling baronial hall – it looks brilliantly creepy.

The small part of the housekeeper is almost a Mrs Danvers prototype. Lucia's brother has unhealthy designs on his childlike sister. The local cleric turns his back on anything distasteful and the family lawyer is certainly complicit in the dirty doings. Lucia is an Alice in Wonderland figure.

Terrific singing and acting all round, but an especially wonderful performance by Sarah Tynan as Lucia.

Reviewed by D.S.J.


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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Running until December 5, 2018
London Coliseum
Nearest tube: Covent Garden
https://www.eno.org/whats-on/lucia-di-lammermoor/

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