How to Enjoy Lucia di Lammermoor in Two Languages: Download and Read the Libretto in Italian and English
Lucia di Lammermoor: A Tragic Opera in Italian and English
If you are a fan of opera, you have probably heard of Lucia di Lammermoor, one of the most famous and beloved works in the genre. But did you know that there are two versions of this opera, one in Italian and one in English? And did you know that you can download the libretto of both versions for free online? In this article, we will explore the history, the plot, and the differences between the Italian and English versions of Lucia di Lammermoor, as well as show you how to get your own copy of the libretto.
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Lucia di Lammermoor is a tragic opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti, based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott. It tells the story of Lucia, a young Scottish woman who is forced by her brother to marry a man she does not love, while she is secretly in love with another man who belongs to a rival clan. The opera is famous for its dramatic scenes, its beautiful music, and its challenging vocal parts, especially for the soprano who plays Lucia.
What is Lucia di Lammermoor?
Lucia di Lammermoor is an opera seria, which means a serious opera that deals with tragic themes and emotions. It belongs to the bel canto style of opera, which emphasizes the beauty and agility of the human voice. The opera was first performed in Naples in 1835, and soon became popular throughout Europe and America. It has been adapted into several films, TV shows, and musicals, and has inspired many other composers and artists.
Who composed Lucia di Lammermoor?
The composer of Lucia di Lammermoor was Gaetano Donizetti, one of the most prolific and influential opera composers of the 19th century. He was born in Bergamo, Italy, in 1797, and studied music under various teachers. He composed over 70 operas in various genres, including comedies, dramas, historical epics, and religious works. Some of his most famous operas include L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love), Don Pasquale, La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment), and Anna Bolena (Anne Boleyn). He died in Bergamo in 1848, after suffering from mental and physical illnesses.
What is the plot of Lucia di Lammermoor?
The plot of Lucia di Lammermoor is based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott called The Bride of Lammermoor, which was published in 1819. The novel was inspired by a true story of a Scottish family feud in the 17th century. The opera follows the main events of the novel, but changes some details and characters. Here is a brief summary of the plot:
The opera is set in Scotland in the late 17th century, during a time of political and religious turmoil. The Scottish clans are divided between the supporters of King William III of England and the supporters of the exiled King James II of England, who is also the King of Scotland.
The opera begins with a scene in the woods, where Normanno, the captain of the guard, and his men are hunting for an intruder who has been seen near the castle of Lammermoor. They suspect that it is Edgardo, the leader of the Ravenswood clan, who is an enemy of the Lammermoor clan. Enrico, the lord of Lammermoor, arrives and confirms their suspicion. He tells them that he is in a desperate situation, as his family is ruined and he needs to marry his sister Lucia to a wealthy nobleman named Arturo. However, he fears that Lucia is in love with Edgardo, and he asks Normanno to find proof of their relationship.
In the next scene, we see Lucia waiting for Edgardo in a fountain near the castle. She tells her maid Alisa that she has seen a ghost of a woman who was killed by a Ravenswood ancestor in that same spot. Alisa warns her that this is a bad omen and that she should forget Edgardo. Lucia refuses to listen and declares her love for him. Edgardo arrives and tells Lucia that he has to leave for France on a diplomatic mission. He also tells her that he has challenged Enrico to a duel, as he has learned that Enrico plans to marry her off to Arturo. Lucia begs him not to fight and to trust her. They exchange rings and vows of eternal love, and promise to write to each other.
In the second act, we see Enrico in his chamber, where he receives a letter from Edgardo that confirms his love for Lucia. He decides to use this letter as evidence to convince Lucia to marry Arturo. He calls for Lucia and shows her a forged letter that claims that Edgardo has been unfaithful to her. Lucia is shocked and heartbroken, but Enrico tells her that she has no choice but to marry Arturo, as their family's fortune and honor depend on it. He also tells her that Edgardo has agreed to renounce their engagement. Lucia still hesitates, but Enrico threatens to kill her if she does not obey. He leaves her with Raimondo, a priest and tutor who is loyal to Enrico. Raimondo tries to persuade Lucia that marrying Arturo is the best thing for her, as God will forgive her for breaking her vow to Edgardo.
In the next scene, we see the guests arriving for the wedding at the castle. Arturo greets Lucia and praises her beauty. He notices that she is pale and sad, but he thinks that she is just nervous. He asks her to sign the marriage contract, but she hesitates again. Enrico pressures her to sign, and she finally does so. At that moment, Edgardo bursts into the hall, having returned from France earlier than expected. He accuses Lucia of betraying him and demands his ring back. He throws it on the ground and curses her. Lucia faints, while Enrico and Arturo draw their swords and challenge Edgardo to a duel. Raimondo intervenes and stops them from fighting. He tells Edgardo to leave and respect Lucia's choice.
In the third act, we see Edgardo in his ancestral tomb, where he is preparing to kill himself after fighting Enrico in a duel. He laments his lost love and hopes to join Lucia in heaven. He hears a bell tolling from the castle and learns from some villagers that Lucia has gone mad and killed Arturo on their wedding night.
In the next scene, we see Lucia in her chamber, where she is having hallucinations of being with Edgardo. She sings a famous aria called "Il dolce suono" (The Sweet Sound), also known as "The Mad Scene", where she expresses her joy at being reunited with him. She imagines that they are getting married again and that they are going to escape together. She does not recognize anyone around her, not even Enrico, who comes to see her and feels remorse for what he has done. Raimondo announces that Lucia is dying and asks everyone to pray for her soul.
In the final scene, we see Edgardo rushing into the castle after hearing about Lucia's death. He finds her corpse on a bed and kisses it goodbye. He then stabs himself with a dagger and dies next to her.
The Libretto of Lucia di Lammermoor
The libretto of Lucia di Lammermoor is the text of the opera, which contains the dialogue and the lyrics of the songs. The libretto is usually written by a different person than the composer, and it is based on a literary source, such as a novel, a play, or a poem.
What is a libretto?
A libretto is a booklet that contains the text of an opera or a musical. The word libretto means "little book" in Italian, and it is derived from the Latin word liber, which means "book". A libretto is usually printed and sold separately from the score, which is the musical notation of the opera. A libretto can also be used as a guide for the audience to follow the plot and understand the words of the singers.
Who wrote the libretto of Lucia di Lammermoor?
The librettist of Lucia di Lammermoor was Salvadore Cammarano, an Italian poet and playwright who wrote many librettos for Donizetti and other composers. He was born in Naples in 1801 and died in Naples in 1852. He was also a painter and a critic, and he founded a literary journal called Il Progresso delle Lettere (The Progress of Letters). He wrote the librettos for some of Donizetti's most famous operas, such as Lucia di Lammermoor, Roberto Devereux (Robert Devereux), and Poliuto (Polyeucte).
How does the libretto differ from the original novel?
The libretto of Lucia di Lammermoor differs from the original novel by Sir Walter Scott in several ways. Some of the main differences are:
The novel is set in the early 18th century, while the opera is set in the late 17th century.
The novel has more characters and subplots than the opera, which focuses on the main characters and their love triangle.
The novel has a more complex and realistic portrayal of the political and religious conflicts between the Scottish clans, while the opera simplifies them to create more drama and contrast.
The novel has a more ambiguous and tragic ending, where Lucia dies of a fever after giving birth to Edgardo's child, and Edgardo kills himself after learning that she was innocent. The opera has a more clear and dramatic ending, where Lucia goes mad and kills Arturo on their wedding night, and Edgardo stabs himself after seeing her corpse.
The Italian and English Versions of Lucia di Lammermoor
Lucia di Lammermoor was originally written and performed in Italian, which was the language of most operas at that time. However, there is also an English version of Lucia di Lammermoor, which was created by Donizetti himself in 1838. The English version was intended for the British audience, who preferred to hear operas in their own language.
Why are there two versions of Lucia di Lammermoor?
There are two versions of Lucia di Lammermoor because Donizetti wanted to adapt his opera to different markets and tastes. He composed the English version for Covent Garden Theatre in London, where he was invited to produce his operas. He revised some parts of the music and changed some words to fit the English pronunciation and rhythm. He also added some new scenes and songs to please the British audience. For example, he added a chorus of Scottish peasants in the first act, a duet between Lucia and Edgardo in the second act, and a solo for Edgardo in the third act.
How do the Italian and English versions compare?
The Italian and English versions of Lucia di Lammermoor have many similarities and differences. Some of them are:
The Italian version is more faithful to the original novel by Sir Walter Scott, while the English version makes some changes to suit the British taste.
The Italian version is more lyrical and expressive, while the English version is more dramatic and intense.
The Italian version has more recitatives, which are spoken parts that advance the plot, while the English version has more arias, which are sung parts that express emotions.
The Italian version has more high notes and vocal embellishments, while the English version has more low notes and simple melodies.
The Italian version has more scenes and characters, while the English version has fewer scenes and characters.
Which version is more popular and why?
The Italian version of Lucia di Lammermoor is more popular and widely performed than the English version. This is because the Italian version is considered to be more original and authentic, as well as more beautiful and challenging. The Italian version also has more historical and cultural significance, as it reflects the style and spirit of the bel canto opera. The English version, on the other hand, is seen as a compromise and a concession to the British market, and it is often criticized for being inferior and less faithful to the original. However, some people prefer the English version for its clarity and accessibility, as well as for its novelty and variety.
How to Download Lucia di Lammermoor Libretto in Italian and English
If you are interested in reading or studying the libretto of Lucia di Lammermoor, you can download it for free online in both Italian and English. Here are some steps to follow:
Where can you find the libretto online?
There are many websites that offer the libretto of Lucia di Lammermoor in different formats and languages. Some of them are:
Opera-Arias.com: This website provides the libretto in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, and Dutch. You can also listen to the audio of the opera and watch videos of different performances.
OperaLib.eu: This website provides the libretto in Italian and English, as well as a synopsis of the plot and a list of characters. You can also download the libretto as a PDF file or a Word document.
Karadar.com: This website provides the libretto in Italian and English, as well as a biography of Donizetti and a history of the opera. You can also download the libretto as a PDF file or a ZIP file.
How to download the libretto as a PDF file?
To download the libretto of Lucia di Lammermoor as a PDF file, you can follow these steps:
Select the language that you want to download, such as Italian or English.
Click on the link that says "Download PDF" or "PDF File".
Save the file on your computer or device.
Open the file with a PDF reader program or app.
How to print the libretto for personal use?
To print the libretto of Lucia di Lammermoor for personal use, you can follow these steps:
Download the libretto as a PDF file from one of the websites mentioned above.
Open the file with a PDF reader program or app.
Select the pages that you want to print, or print all pages.
Choose your printer settings, such as paper size, orientation, margins, etc.
Click on "Print" or "OK".
Lucia di Lammermoor is a masterpiece of opera that combines tragedy, romance, and music. It is based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott that tells the story of Lucia, a young Scottish woman who is torn between her love for Edgardo and her duty to her family. The opera was composed by Gaetano Donizetti in 1835, and it has two versions: one in Italian and one in English. The Italian version is more popular and widely performed than the English version, but both versions have their own merits and features. You can download the libretto of both versions for free online from various websites, and you can print it for personal use. If you want to enjoy this opera fully, you should read the libretto before or while listening to or watching it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions and answers about Lucia di Lammermoor:
What is the meaning of the title Lucia di Lammermoor?
The title Lucia di Lammermoor means "Lucia of Lammermoor", which is the name of the region in Scotland where the opera is set. Lammermoor is a historical district that covers parts of the counties of East Lothian and Berwickshire. The name comes from the Lammermuir Hills, which are a range of hills that separate the district from the rest of Scotland.
What is the famous aria that Lucia sings in the mad scene?
The famous aria that Lucia sings in the mad scene is called "Il dolce suono" (The Sweet Sound), also known as "The Mad Scene". It is one of the most difficult and impressive arias in opera history, as it requires the soprano to sing high notes, fast runs, trills, and cadenzas, while portraying Lucia's mental breakdown. The aria lasts for about 15 minutes and has three parts: a recitative, a romanza, and a cabaletta. In the recitative, Lucia imagines that she is talking to Edgardo and that he forgives her. In the romanza, she imagines that they are getting married and that they are going to escape together. In the cabaletta, she sings a joyful melody that contrasts with her tragic situation.
What is the instrument that accompanies Lucia in the mad scene?
The instrument that accompanies Lucia in the mad scene is called a glass harmonica, also known as a glass armonica or a hydrocrystalophone. It is an instrument invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1761, and it consists of a series of glass bowls of different sizes that are mounted on a horizontal spindle. The bowls are filled with water and rotated by a pedal. The player touches the rims of the bowls with moistened fingers to produce musical tones. The glass harmonica has a haunting and ethereal sound that suits Lucia's madness. Donizetti originally wrote the part for this instrument, but it was later replaced by a flute in most performances, as the glass harmonica was rare and difficult to play.
Who are some famous sopranos who have sung the role of Lucia?
Some famous sopranos who have sung the role of Lucia are:
Maria Callas: She was a Greek-American soprano who was one of the most influential and celebrated opera singers of the 20th century. She sang Lucia di Lammermoor in 1952 at La Scala in Milan, and she recorded it twice: in 1953 with Tullio Serafin and in 1959 with Herbert von Karajan. She was known for her dramatic interpretation and her vocal range.
Joan Sutherland: She was an Australian soprano who was one of the most acclaimed bel canto singers of her generation. She sang Lucia di Lammermoor in 1959 at Covent Garden in London, and she recorded it four times: in 1961 with John Pritchard, in 1971 with Richard Bonynge, in 1976 with James Levine, and in 1986 with Richard Bonynge. She was known for her agility and her high notes.
Beverly Sills: She was an American soprano who was one of the most popular opera singers of her era. She sang Lucia di Lammermoor in 1968 at New York City Opera, and she recorded it twice: in 1969 with Thomas Schippers and in 1970 with Julius Rudel. She was known for her expressiveness and her coloratura.
Natalie Dessay: She is a French soprano who is one of the leading bel canto singers of today. She sang Lucia di Lammermoor in 2006 at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and she recorded it twice: in 2002 with Evelino Pidò and in 2007 with James Levine. She is known for her acting skills and her flexibility.
What are some other operas based on novels by Sir Walter Scott?
Some other operas based on novels by Sir Walter Scott are:
La donna del lago (The Lady of the Lake) by Gioachino Rossini, based on The Lady of the Lake.
Il pirata (The Pirate) by Vincenzo Bellini, based on The Pirate.
I puritani (The Puritans) by Vincenzo Bellini, based on Old Mortality.
La jolie fille de Perth (The Fair Maid of Perth) by Georges Bizet, based on The Fair Maid of Perth.
Ivanhoe by Arthur Sullivan, based on Ivanhoe.