There’s nothing pretentious about Teatro Lirico d’Europa’s production. Sets are minimal (only hints of Scottish Gothic), costumes a bizarre mélange of late 15th century (women) and late 18th century (men). The wigs were a great source of yuks. Giorgio Lalov’s staging is stand-there-and-belt. But with a strong cast, Lucia is as foolproof as La bohème. There’s no let-up in melodic inspiration: the full-hearted sextet, the “Fountain” aria (I wish this fountain were more than a roadside spigot), the wild “Mad Scene.” The villain gets a gorgeous tune. So does the priest! Teatro Lirico’s chorus seemed skimpy, and the orchestra, led by Krassimir Topolov, not fully rehearsed. But young coloratura Larissa Yudina has an extremely pretty, expressive voice that rises into the stratosphere, with real trills. Her “Mad Scene,” if not profoundly exploratory on the Callas level, was still a vocal and dramatic triumph. Tenor Evgenyi Akimov’s voice combines power and color with good dramatic instincts. Baritone Vladimir Samsonov, hilarious as Rossini’s barber last season, was equally effective as a snarling villain. Bolshoi bass Viacheslav Pochopsky, Teatro Lirico’s unforgettable Boris Godunov, sang magnificently as Lucia’s confessor. And Bulgarian mezzo Viara Zhelezova, so winning as Rossini’s Rosina, made something real and touching of the tiny role of Lucia’s maid. They all sang their hearts out.
: Music Features
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