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Subject: 20th C. premier of original LUCIA
From: Michael Barclay <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Michael Barclay <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 9 Jul 1998 19:49:19 -0700
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        Dear Listers,                           7/9/98
        I was privileged to attend the 20th C. stage premier of Donizetti's
        LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR at the Teatro Reggio di Torino in May of 1978.
        The title role was sung by the unknown Lela Cuberli and the work
        was brilliantly conducted by the same Italian meastro who conducted
        SFO's brilliant FIGARO in '69 or '70 with Te Kanawa, von Stade,
        Blegen, Evans, Wixell et al.  I simply have blocked his name.

        I heard him conduct 5 of the FIGAROS, this historic LUCIA and a
        DON GIOVANNI in the early 80's.  He was the best Italian conductor
        of Mozart since Giulini and a gorgeous elegant man, fairly young.

        I cannot tell you the balance of the all Italian cast except I
        think the poorish Edgardo was Alberto Cupido.  Cuberli was
        marvelous and had no difficulty at that stage of her career with
        the terrifying tessitura.

        There were many changes from the "traditional" score--the
        "Wolfscrag Scene" for Edgardo and Enrico, a long and difficult
        aria for the basso, a lengthy scene for the basso and Lucia, several
        cuts openend in the mad scene, and many expanded recitatives.

        It was a much better opera than we knew from any Callas OR
        Sutherland performance--a real music drama.  It did not however
        feature a glass harmonica in place of the flute--which is correct??

        The audience at this dress rehearsal was thrilled with the
        performance--I think maybe Zancanarro was the superb Enrico
        and there was much discussion of this original score versus
        the traditional score.  If I remember correctly there was about
        40 minutes more music than on Callas's first commercial set.

        Can anyone help me remember the excellent conductor and tell me
        why he didn't have Muti's career.  He was so much greater in
        Mozart and Donizetti.

        Warmly.

        Michael Barclay,D.Lett

Michael Barclay, D.Lett.   [log in to unmask]
Opera Education International/OEI, Berkeley, CA  www.operalover.net
Please visit our website soon.

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