Fine cast in FGO’s “Lucia” undermined by obtrusive stage direction

By David Fleshler

Eglise Gutierrez and Israel Lozano in "Lucia di Lammermoor." Photo: Gaston de Cardenas

As traditionally performed, Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lammermoor is two-and-a-half hours of Scottish castles, mist-shrouded lakes, swordsmanship and tragedy.

Florida Grand Opera swept most of this aside Saturday, in a production that brought the story into the modern era on a stark cost-effective unit set dominated by a jagged gray wall.

There was nothing wrong with clothing the cast in sportcoats, kilts, tuxedos and formal gowns, nor with equipping them with flashlights and handguns, rather than lanterns and swords. And musically the performance at the Arsht Center in Miami was on a high level, with a stellar vocal performance by the Cuban-American soprano, Eglise Gutiérrez.

But the production was undermined by the obtrusive, heavy-handed stage direction of Renaud Doucet, a former dancer and choreographer who has directed several FGO operas.

Doucet’s direction suggested a lack of confidence — and little interest — in Donizetti’s music. He constantly found ways for the stage action to elbow the music out of the way, not enhancing the narrative, but distracting from it, and drawing attention away from Donizetti’s storyline at all the key moments.

In the first act, Lucia tells of a vision of a woman stabbed to death, clad in a bloody gown. Doucet has the ghost of this woman appear on stage at various moments, wandering unnoticed among the performers. During the famous sextet in Act 2, the apparition strolls around, walking up to the different singers, and making it hard to concentrate on what is usually one of the opera’s supremely effective moments.

During the mad scene, after Lucia murders the new husband forced on her by her brother and appears in blood-streaked white gown before the horrified wedding guests, Gutierrez was required to act out the madness in ways that were alternately plausible and farcical. This included raising the head of her late husband’s cooling corpse and addressing him as if he were her true love Edgardo — not a bad touch —- and then, ridiculously, smooching passionately one of the female cast members under the delusion that she was Edgardo.

And incredibly, this production found a way to give this tragic opera a happy ending. After Lucia’s demise and the heartbroken Edgardo shoots (rather than stabs) himself — he sings of his love for Lucia and also dies. Doucet then has the dead Lucia join him, they embrace and walk off hand in hand as the curtain falls.

Is it really necessary to beat the audience over the head with this sort of literalism? Couldn’t the power of Donizetti’s music show the beauty of their dying for each other? In opera, much of the drama and passion is in the music, and to try to make incarnate every emotion dilutes the effect rather than enhancing it.

For sopranos, the role of Lucia is what Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto is for pianists. And Gutierrez clearly had the technique to cope with the role’s runs, trills and other ornamentations, although the effort in hitting high notes sometimes showed. But she conceived the role as much more than an icy exercise in coloratura, and her rich, gleaming voice brought heft and depth to the role.  In the first act, when she sings of her love for Edgardo, her lyric approach paid off with a Quando rapito in estasi that sounded sweeter and less flashy than many other performances. In the mad scene, she brought off all the vocal challenges, effectively, although the pathos didn’t come through as well, partly because she was busy darting about the stage acting insane.

Appearing on stage in a kilt and gray sport coat, the baritone Mark Walters was the finest actor of the night as he portrayed a frantic man willing to do anything to save himself. His strong, well-centered voice brought dread and fury to the first act aria Cruda funesta smania, and through the marriage scene, as he brought Lucia forward with a desperate smile on his face, he brought drama to the opera.

As Lucia’s lover Edgardo, the tenor Israel Lozano brought a smaller voice but one with dramatic fire and lyric gleam. At a few key moments, however, such as the aria Tu che a Dio just before he kills himself, he allowed his voice to break with emotion at a time when the music was at its most beautiful. As an actor, he was overpowered by the more charismatic and forceful portrayals of Raimondo and Enrico, and he seemed more pitiable than heroic.

Most effective vocally was Jordan Bisch, who brought a steady, deep bass to the role of the minister Raimondo. When he commanded Enrico and Edgardo to stop fighting, singing the words Pace, pace, his effortlessly powerful voice dominated the stage.

Under the baton of the young Spanish conductor Ramon Tebar, the orchestra gave a spirited, technically polished performance of Donizetti’s music. Although the opera contains several difficult exposed passages for horns —an area that has been the weak spot for FGO orchestras in the past—the playing here was virtually flawless. The production, like many these days, cut the Wolf’s Crag scene, where Edgardo and Enrico swear to kill each other and agree to meet for a duel.

André Barbe, the costume and set designer, updated the opera in ways that were generally effective, even if they may have disappointed audience members seeking the gothic cobwebs of traditional Lucia productions.  A particularly effective touch came at the very end, when the chorus arrives and tells Edgardo of Lucia’s madness and impending death, where their open umbrellas in the gloomy twilight gave an effectively funereal cast  to the scene. And during the wedding party, just before Lucia’s appearance, the use of party hats and colored streamers lent an aptly frivolous touch to the celebration.

Lucia di Lammermoor runs through Jan. 31 at the Arsht Center and Feb. 4 and 6 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. Call 800-741-1010 or go to

Posted in Performances

18 Responses to “Fine cast in FGO’s “Lucia” undermined by obtrusive stage direction”

  1. Posted Jan 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm by Alexander D'argenteuil

    I was among the opening night crowd yesterday and we apparently did not see the same performance.
    I felt that the staging was accentuating the drama by avoiding the usual stereotypical manner this opera is often submitted to.
    For once we had real theater and not emptiness .As for the mad scene , you are probably not aware of the effect of mental illness and more preoccupied by “pretty singing”. Menral illnes is not pretty and the effect on the patient is among other thing a complete lack of inhibition , emotional physical and sometimes sexual.
    I was glad to see a production that for once did manage to enthralled its audience to a complete mixture of drama and music like opera should always be and I wish to thank Its director,Renaud Doucet for allowing us to feel as well as to hear those great singers! the recordings exist in enough quantity to be savored outside the opera house.

  2. Posted Jan 24, 2010 at 10:22 pm by William

    I have seen Gutierrez in Lakme, I Puritani, Traviata, and now Lucia. I thought her coloratura was terrific in Lakme and Puritani, but starting with Traviata and now this Lucia, I notice she takes a piano option rather than forte high notes whenever she can. When she does sing a forte high note, it often sounds squeezed out. Also, the conductor had to slow the music down a lot when she was singing coloratura passages. I feel her voice is darkening and getting richer and is losing its agility. I think she should start singing lyric soprano roles and move away from the bel canto repetoire myself. Somehow her forte high notes do not sound right, and I think she’s headed for trouble if she continues to force her voice in that direction. I don’t mean to be negative, b/c I like her. I have raved about her to friends, but after FGO’s Traviata and Lucia, I think coloratura roles are no longer what she should be singing. The coloratura sounds too labored and difficult. It should sound effortless, if the voice is meant to sing roles like that.

    I thought Lozano literally lost his voice in his big aria. I don’t think it was a choice that he put so much emotion into the line and broke up the lovely music. I think he cracked big time and covered it up immediately by making it sound like he was emoting like that on purpose. When he sang the repeat he was barely audible, b/c I think he was being extra careful after cracking the first time around and he still sounded bad during the second verse. He came close to cracking earlier in the night also. I think he must have been sick or tired or whatever. I hope he was sick, b/c otherwise, he has a lovely sound to his voice. Something got caught in his throat or something. Or maybe he was sick.

    The production bothered me less than it did you. However, I found the cone shaped party hats dumb. This is a wedding, not a birthday party! Also, when Edgardo forced Lucia to hold his gun to his head, I shook my head. It just looked dumb. Also, I doubt party guests would drag a stabbed victim in his underwear into the room for everyone to see. I heard audience members snicker each time Lucia picked up Arturo’s bloodied torso and then drop it again.

    Arturo barely had a voice. I see in the program that he is a Young Artist. He will probably get better, but I think it is irresponsible for FGO to put such a young artist in a role like that. Granted, it is a small role, but I suspect this singer had very little experience. I feel he needs more experience before taking on a role like this. Maybe the director chose him b/c he was the cutest Young Artist and they put him on stage bloodied in his underwear.

    Overall, I enjoyed the whole thing, but there were vocal problems all night long with all the cast members.

  3. Posted Jan 25, 2010 at 12:16 pm by Amy Zimmerman

    From your review I realize that the curse of regie opera has spread from Europe like a fungus! Unfortunately, it seems that Renaud Doucet has managed to impose his lack of interest in Donizetti’s masterpiece on this production. I’m afraid he doesn’t grasp that Lucia is a Gothic story and certainly not intended by the composer to be an early nineteenth century story. Donizetti had the wit to appreciate that the atmosphere of those Scottish castles,mist-shrouded lakes, etc. you mention enhanced Lucia’s mental fragility. Much of the first act is devoted to her fantasies of the cruel fate of another woman. I wish these directors understood that relevance to modern audiences comes from the ability of the singers to convey the tragedy and from the music itself. Other media exploit the Gothic themes without quamls, and no one seems to worry if the audiences “get it”. Of course they do. Either such directors are profoundly ignorant of the operatic contexts or are working through their own private issues. In any case, they make a hash of a beautiful art form.

    By the way, Doucet borrowed from Mary Zimmerman in bringing a happy(?) ending to the opera. In the Met’s newest production of Lucia she had a well-nourished Anna Netrebko make a ghostly post death appearance, actually helping Edgardo stab himself to death. What Zimmerman did to Sonnambula in another new Met production was beyond terrible. But that’s another sad tale of a botched production rescued only by the marvelous singing of the cast.

  4. Posted Jan 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm by Jung

    William, you were not paying attention. It was Lucia who, apparently, dragged her dead husband’s body from the bedroom to the banquet room and then up onto the banquet table. This, apparently, without anyone seeing and inhibiting her from doing so! Give us a break! Well, who exactly is it who Edgardo shot upon his entrance to the banquet for the sextet? Or did they just want us to notice the gun so they had him shoot it off. You don’t shoot a gun like that, without shooting at someone. Is it supposed to be like Minnie in Fancciula? Now, since you (and everyone else probably) are used to them being screamed-out, you do not realize how rare and wonderful it is to have a soprano who can sing those high notes piano. If you don’t know that, please don’t set yourself up as a voice expert as to what this one or that one “should” be singing. But, anyway, what on earth are we to make of the fantasma who wanders in and out of the scenes, presumably looking for the correct opera to act in….?

  5. Posted Jan 25, 2010 at 8:35 pm by William

    Jung, I never said once in my posting that I was a voice expert. I was simply stating my opinion. I love Gutierrez when she chooses the piano option instead of forte high notes, but when she did choose to sing forte notes, they sounded squeezed out and not right to my ears, but each person hears things differently. Her piano notes come out so beautifully and sound healthy. Her forte high notes do not sound healthy to my ears. I love piannissimi, and Caballe is one of my favorites (although she overdid her trademark piannissimi at the end of her career choosing that every single time a high note was called for, which is not really the right thing to do).

    I never saw Arturo on the banquet table. Did you go to opening night? He laid on the floor of the stage the entire time, and she would go up and pull his torso up. Also, several party guests brought him out in a sheet and set him on the floor. Lucia did NOT pull him on stage from my vantage point. However, I was sitting to the far right of the stage, so maybe they showed her pulling him on the banquet table and then the guests took him and set him down on the ground, but that could not be seen from the side I was sitting on. Either way I find it hard to believe anyone would bring him out, even a crazed Lucia.

    I guess it was supposed to be like Minnie in Fanciulla! That is funny!

    There are little details of the production that do not work for me, but overall, the production did not disgust me like the Sonnambula at the Met that Amy mentions. I was more disappointed in the actual singing and less about the production.

  6. Posted Jan 26, 2010 at 12:18 am by Francisco Blanco

    The ghost lady was a bad idea, she should have stayed away during the sextet, and the quasi “happy ending” was a disaster. Otherwise a great performance musically. FGO Orchestra and Chorus were outstanding. Enrico and Raimondo roles were solid, and Ms. Gutierrez Lucia was amazing.

  7. Posted Jan 27, 2010 at 12:38 am by Sergio da Silva

    I agree 100% with William on Gutierrez, it was a poor performance and on top of that her intonation was suspect throughout (I saw the performance on 1/26/2010). I did not like the production either and Lozano was good until the end (“O bell’alma inamorata”) where his voice gave out, he whispered and used falsetto, it was terrible but as usual no one around me seemed to care 🙁

  8. Posted Jan 28, 2010 at 4:19 pm by Juan Morales

    I haven’t seen Lucia yet. I have tickets for Saturday night and will be seeing Maria Alejandres instead. From the comments I have read, I don’t know if maybe I should stay away!! LOL. I have no problem with productions that attempt to update operas, as long as they remain true to the spirit of the piece. Il fantasma running around the entire opera? Arturo dead in his underwear for all to see? Oh boy, this sounds almost as bad as Angelica’s boy not being dead.

    Seems to me that in an effort to improve attendance Opera companies all over are looking for ways to modernize works in order to make them appeal to the masses. Why can’t they understand if attendance is low is because the voices are lacking. When Pavarotti, Sutherland, Sills, Caballe, etc were around there was no need to glamorize and modernize these works. Your average opera fan has seen enough production of the “repertory” to last several lifetimes. I do not need to see another Lucia – unless Dessay was singing it.
    So, lacking voices, the only thing that will bring people to the opera is works that are not seen that often. If you look at their performance history, FGO has only done 2 Bellini Operas – one performance each – Norma and Sonnambula. What’s wrong with I Puritani? When was the last time they did L’Italiana in Algieri? Anna Bolena? Falstaff? Nabucco? What’s wrong with Wagner??

    I understand that FGO is having financial difficulties. I renewed this season because I wanted to help FGO. But depending on what they hit us with next season, I might seriously consider saving my money and going to see the Met HD Telecasts at the movies instead.

    By the way – since it looks like they are modernizing all their operas this season, the two that are left both take place in Seville. I imagine Carmen will take place in modern day Seville and they are smuggling drugs instead of guns. I just can’t figure out what they might do with Barbieri.

  9. Posted Jan 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm by Wolfgang731

    FYI to Juan Morales – I’m not sure about Carmen but from what I’ve seen and read about “Barber” it’s not updated/modernized. It takes place in the correct time period.

  10. Posted Jan 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm by Alexander D'argenteuil

    All of you do not seem to understand that this season at FGO almost did not happen because of financial difficulties. You want Nathalie Dessay well then go to the met or go in Europe. NOBODY can afford the salaries those stars are asking and people at FGO are reducing their fees by half to make the season possible.As for comtemporary productions , it seems that none of you travel much and besides the MET you do not see anything else. Most of the of the interesting productions done today are not affraid to move the erea to reach the audiences. Maybe you never thought that period costumes cost a lot to build and rather than using the same old ones that are rented all across America ,why not try to make something different as well as remaining faithful to the composer. If a great work is going to transcend the ages it is because it can touch people in different countries and still be relevant. You are all showing an immense lack of sophistication. Grow up ! go outside your backyards .theatre is not done the way it was in Shakespeare times… at leat not in the rest of the world. Opera is not only music , it is the complete arts put together (in Italian it means complete). If you rather hear voices , stay home buy a recording and close your eyes. If you want to see the same things over and over again but the old DVDs. The world is changing !!! Callas is DEAD Pavorotti is DEAD move on. You have NO idea at the task of putting on a production in 2and a half weeks !!!! Yes you will probably hate Barber , it has projections and animations and 18th century costumes in bright colors. The folks at FGO are trying with ALL their hearts to create a new season with a tinny budget . They are trying to find solutions so the art form can survive and the only thing you find to do is complainning … AGAIN !!!! The second cast of Lucia is FANTASTIC but of course you could not care less. The Carmen Will be based on TABLAO in seville it will be minimalist with a lot of chairs , theater and flamenco and you will all hate it beacause your mind is already made up. So spare your money and remain in your little world wher nothing changes and Callas is forever singing on a cloud wearing the same damn traviata dress with the camelia !

  11. Posted Jan 29, 2010 at 7:13 pm by William

    Alexander, calm down! I have lived in Austria and Germany and am used to Regie Theater. The FGO Lucia production itself did not bother me except for some minor details that made the audience laugh.

    What bothered me was the lack of good voices on the stage. Actually, Gutierrez is a wonderful singer, but Lucia is not for her, in my opinion. Lozano has a nice sound, but I think Edgardo is either too heavy for him (and he loses his voice by the end), or he has been sick. Both singers have great voices (raw material), but I did not really like what they did with the score.

    Opera lovers are always demanding people. We boo, applaud, etc. We are very opinionated. That will never change. We will complain about anything we feel the need to complain about. I have seen some good things at FGO, but I don’t think Lucia was one of their best efforts overall. And I actually went expecting a really good time, b/c I actually like Gutierrez, and I thought the production was okay.

    But the world doesn’t really change. The longer you live, the more you realize everything stays the same. Despite ipods, computers, updated operas, people are always the same.

  12. Posted Jan 29, 2010 at 9:34 pm by Carol Blades

    My husband and I just left the Friday evening, Jan 29 performance after the first act. It seemed to us that Ms. Gutierrez was in vocal distress. Her voice did not crack during the first act, but her top disappeared entirely and her sustenuto simply wasn’t there. I felt that Lozano was holding back in their duet sequences as a courtesy. (I have seen that happen…) Does Ms. Gutierrez have a cold? If she was singing in fine voice tonight, I heartily agree with William — she has to re-think. I used to love her forte high notes and didin’t think she had much of a middle…but those high notes weren’t there tonight. Anyone with insights?

  13. Posted Jan 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm by Dave R.

    Re Alexander’s “They are trying to find solutions so the art form can survive and the only thing you find to do is complainning.”

    From what I’ve seen, FGO hasn’t done much to help the art form (I’m assuming you mean opera) survive. FGO has about as much creativity as a Muvico.

  14. Posted Jan 31, 2010 at 11:37 pm by George Meller

    I just got back from the best opera EXPERIENCE in Miami to date:
    I enjoyed the simplicity of the staging and the gruesome version of mad scene, which I am sure succeeded in stirring up emotions of even the most blaze of patrons; but is this not what an opera is supposed to do.
    Even without the magnificent and almost bewildering voice of Eglise Gutierrez as well as her vivid acting, the performance was quite riveting in its shift to the near current times, spartan staging and unconventional twist.
    Yes, men with spindly legs and bouncy gate may not look their best in a kilt, but who cares.
    The morose realistic scene with umbrellas did remind me of the cold unforgiving drizzle in the Scottish moors.
    I liked the colourful baritone voice of the priest but the other fellas were just OK, except Arturo, who really should not look so prematurely worried about his cojones.
    The orchestra was incredibly precise and in perfect synch with subtle slight lowering for each aria, not to drown the singers as often orchestras do
    The delicate harp accompaniment and the flute-echo were the best I can remember. Altogether and of course, thanks to Eglise a most memorable performance. Thank you FGO team for such a treat !

  15. Posted Feb 01, 2010 at 3:32 pm by Juan Morales

    Alexander, I am very well aware the financial difficulties FGO is going through. That was the main reason I subscribed this season even if I considered it a “poor” one. My point is that you do not maintain a company afloat by giving fans a season of “modernized” war-horses. Proof that I am not too far off, is that both performances I have attended so far this season, the theater has been half full. In a bad economy people might be tempted to spend money if they were seeing something they have not seen in a long while.
    Looking over the list of FGO productions here is a list (in my opinion) of operas that are still pretty much in the repertoir that could have been performed. The figure in parenthesis is the year this was last seen in Miami: Norma (1990); Adriana Lecouvreur (1978); L’elisir d’amore (1998); Porgy & Bess (1995); Andrea Chenier (1983); Les Contes d’Hoffman (1999); La Gioconda (1999); Gianni Schicchi (1953) & Il Tabarro (1989); L’italiana in Algieri (1985); Don Carlo (1979). I hope you get the idea.
    I would like to say that personally I have nothing against modernizing operas. I loved FGO’s production of Abduction and one of the most exciting Carmen’s I have seen was NY City Opera’s production set during the Spanish Civil War. The Met has been doing wonderful and exciting things with projections also (Damnation de Faust for example). I do have a problem when they take liberties with the libretto as was the case with Angelica when they showed that her son was not dead, for example. Doesn’t mean that I am right and you are wrong, just means that I don’t agree.
    Now, I saw Lucia on Saturday night (1/30). Ms Alejandres was wonderful. Weak in her first aria – but very good in the second act and handled the mad scene amazingly well. My big surprise of the evening was Mr Panuccio. What a voice! The kind of singer you want to make note of so when he becomes big in the opera world, you can say “..ah yes I remember when..”. As far as the production, I felt the modern setting worked quite well. I did have a problem with some directorial choices. Il Fantasma in act I ,I could live with, but during the septet was distracting. Couple next to me, the wife kept asking the husband what was the ghost doing, he had to keep telling him to ignore the ghost and listen to that gorgeous music. In the Mad Scene, I had a problem with Lucia dragging Arturo’s body onto the stage. Didn’t feel it was necessary. I also felt having her running around the stage and jumping was distracting.This could not have been easy for Ms Alejandres and truly admired her for this. I felt she was singing Lucia while “channeling” Olympia from Hoffman. Finally in the final scene, Edgardo does not die until he finishes his aria, how can he walk off into the sunset arm in arm with Lucia?? Also, because they dressed Lucia like Il Fantasma, the lady next to me couldn’t figure out who was waiting for Edgardo at first. But like I said – I am not trying to say I am right and the production is wrong, I am just giving my opinion as to what bothered me.
    By the way, yes unfortunately Callas and Pavarotti are dead, but I eagerly await their replacements.

  16. Posted Feb 05, 2010 at 9:13 am by Lisa Talon

    Alejandres has a great voice for this role. Despite minor (small small small) pitch inconsistencies, everything was right. Her coloratura was sparkling, and she had the right power in every register. Gutierrez, though she she has a beautiful instrument, was totally wrong for this role. Her voice is simply too heavy. I have heard her sing through the opera 5 times now, and let me tell you – she cracks nearly every night. She just doesn’t have the agility that this role requires. She needs to sing something with more heft.

    Lonzano, oy vey. Nearly everytime he opens his mouth I get nauseous. That breathy-falsetto-fading thing is cheap, weak and trashy. I think casting him may have been a mistake. And his pitch is pretty gross too.

    I know you all have added your ideas and responses about FGO’s programming. I think it is very weak this year. I understand that ticket sales are the backbone, and the people are much more likely to subscribe if they see Lucia and Carmen rather than Wozzeck and Erwartüng. But they also need to remember that the rich blue-haired ladies won’t be around forever and they should think about how to garner a less stuffy audience. Opera just shouldn’t feel like a museum exhibit. There must be some sort of a happy medium, and I think that FGO has not found it yet.

  17. Posted Feb 05, 2010 at 1:14 pm by Alexander D'argenteuil

    Dear Lisa , I think that “the rich blue Haired ladies would rather see Wozzeck or Blue Beard castle rather than another Carmen or Barbiere .Donnors are the ones who travel the country to see new works and are more sophisticated that we give them credit for. Indeed they seem to be traditionalist in their taste, that is another story but they do enjoy a vast repertoire.

    Unfortunately the donnors , or the very rich ,Or the opera specialists are a small percentage of FGO audiences.
    Mr and Mrs Smith are or Rather Senor y senora Rodrigez are (now that a majority of spanish speaking people are attending the performances) the main population coming to the opera.
    Unfortunately The great 20th century works do not sell with the regular audiences. But as much as we would see something different , there is no choice for the North american Opera companies but to do more accessible work to reach a wider audience.
    We are living in a very tough economy and I am afraid that Opera companies( as they were used to be) will dissapear and be replaced by touring companies who will perform works that are even more known and less challenging. Or the broadcasts from the Met or La Scalla will have a bigger audience willing to pay less to see the best singers !!!!

    Although we are discussing and arguing at the state of the Opera world , the good years are behind us ! The new generation of donnors are probably more interested in giving to other art-forms since Opera has not evolved much in America . Without private donnors there is no more productions… so do not bash the little rich blue haired ladies , without them and their support we would not have anything to argue about !

  18. Posted Feb 05, 2010 at 5:46 pm by William

    FGO used to do one rarity or semi-rarity (Giulio Cesare, Kata Kabanova, Boris Godunov, etc) in its 5 opera season. I was always thrilled to go to those, b/c it was fringe rep that you don’t get to see all the time. I think their strategy of sticking one fringe piece (just outside the standard rep) was a good idea, but I don’t know if it lost them money or tickets or not. I wish they would do Norma which seems to always sell out wherever I have seen it, even though it is not done as often as Boheme, etc. Jennifer Check sang the hell out of the role at Palm Beach Opera last season. They could hire her or even Hasmik Papian who sings it decently althought not fiery. I have to say that the choice of operas this season was disappointing. I am wondering if putting on concert operas (if they need to scale back) would be an option. I care more about the singing than the actual staging. Sure, I love staged opera, but concert opera is fun too, although I think you need some “names” when you do a concert version or it lacks an aspect of being an EVENT to attend. I agree with Lisa that Gutierrez is no longer right for Lucia. She used to sing coloratura wonderfully, but her voice has gotten darker and heavier, and I think she should go toward lyric roles that do not require coloratura. When she sings a straight line, it is a gorgeous sound, but her voice has somehow lost agility at least for this run of Lucias.

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