Lucia di Lammermoor
January 26 & 28, 2024
The Madness of Matrimony
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera
An intruder has been spotted near the Ashton family home, and Normanno sends Enrico’s men off in search of the stranger. Enrico arrives, troubled. His family’s fortunes are in danger, and only the arranged marriage of his sister, Lucia, with Arturo Bucklaw can save them. The chaplain Raimondo, Lucia’s tutor, reminds Enrico that the girl is still mourning the death of her mother. But Normanno reveals that Lucia is concealing a great love for Edgardo, leader of the Ashtons’ enemies. Enrico is furious and swears vengeance. The men return and explain that they have seen and identified the intruder as Edgardo. Enrico’s fury increases.
Just before dawn, Lucia and her companion Alisa are waiting for Edgardo. Lucia relates that, in this very spot, she has seen the ghost of a girl who was stabbed by a jealous lover. Alisa urges her to forget Edgardo, but Lucia insists that her love for Edgardo brings her great joy and may overcome all. Edgardo arrives and explains that he must leave on a political mission. Before he leaves, he wants to make peace with Enrico. Lucia, however, asks Edgardo to keep their love a secret. Edgardo agrees, and they exchange rings and vows of devotion.
It is some months later, on the day that Lucia is to marry Arturo. Normanno assures Enrico that he has successfully intercepted all correspondence between the lovers and has in addition procured a forged letter, supposedly from Edgardo, that indicates he is involved with another woman. As the captain goes off to welcome the groom, Lucia enters, continuing to defy her brother. Enrico shows her the forged letter. Lucia is heartbroken, but Enrico insists that she marry Arturo to save the family. He leaves, and Raimondo, convinced no hope remains for Lucia’s love, reminds her of her late mother and urges her to do a sister’s duty. She finally agrees.
As the wedding guests arrive, Enrico explains to Arturo that Lucia is still in a state of melancholy because of her mother’s death. The girl enters and reluctantly signs the marriage contract. Suddenly, Edgardo bursts in, claiming his bride. The entire company is overcome by shock. Arturo and Enrico order Edgardo to leave, but he insists that he and Lucia are engaged. When Raimondo shows him the contract with Lucia’s signature, Edgardo curses her and tears his ring from her finger before finally leaving in despair and rage.
Enrico visits Edgardo at his dilapidated home and taunts him with the news that Lucia and Arturo have just been married. The two men agree to meet at dawn for a duel.
Back at Lammermoor, Raimondo interrupts the wedding festivities with the news that Lucia has gone mad and killed Arturo. Lucia enters, covered in blood. Moving between tenderness, joy, and terror, she recalls her meetings with Edgardo and imagines that she is with him on their wedding night. She vows that she will never be happy in heaven without her lover and that she will see him there. When Enrico returns, he is enraged at Lucia’s behavior but soon realizes that she has lost her senses. After a confused and violent exchange with her brother, Lucia collapses.
Edgardo laments that he has to live without Lucia and awaits his duel with Enrico, which he hopes will end his own life. Guests coming from Lammermoor tell him that the dying Lucia has called his name. As he is about to rush to her, Raimondo announces that she has died. Determined to join Lucia in heaven, Edgardo stabs himself.
2 hours 45 minutes with 20 minute intermission
Cast & Creatives
Abigail Rethwisch*as Lucia
Richard Ollarsaba*as Enrico
Bass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba, 2019 Cardiff Singer of the World, was recently featured in one of his signature roles, Escamillo in Carmen, as part of Francesca Zambello’s final season at The Glimmerglass Festival. In 2022-2023, he will bring his Escamillo to Portland Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Other engagements for the season include reprising his celebrated Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at Knoville Opera, joining Chicago Opera Theater as Fred Clayton and others in The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing, bowing with Master Chorale of South Florida in Verdi’s Requiem, and returning to Palm Beach Symphony as soloist in Handel’s Messiah. The 2021-2022 season included the title role in Don Giovanni with Opera Grand Rapids and Opera Carolina, Mozart’s Requiem with the Palm Beach Symphony, the Count in Le nozze di Figaro with Virginia Opera, and Schaunard in La bohème with the Jacksonville Symphony. In the 2020, he made his New Zealand Opera debut as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro.
Andrew Morstein*as Edgardo
American tenor Andrew Morstein, praised for his “vocal virtuosity” (Olyrix) is a recent graduate of the Junges Ensemble Theater (JET) with the Theater an der Wien. In recent and future seasons, Andrew will make debuts at the Salzburg Festival, singing Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro, Serge in Erlanger’s L’aube rouge with Wexford Festival, Leonard Lev for the recording and a concert performance of Tobias Pickers Awakenings with Boston Modern Opera Project and Odyssey Opera, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Neo in San Diego, and Lindoro in L’Italiana in Algeri with St. Pete Opera. While in Vienna, appearances included Almaviva, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Spoletta in Tosca, Camille in Tobias Pickers Thérèse Raquin, Officer 1/Sandy in The Lighthouse, Georg in the 175th anniversary of the original performance of Der Waffenschmied, and finally Klas/Windmüller in Enoch Arden. Andrew resides in Chicago with his wife.
Jason Ferrante*as Arturo
American tenor and voice teacher Jason Ferrante has been praised by Opera News for “singing up a stylish storm” and by the Sarasota Herald Tribune as “one of the best voices I have heard” In the past two seasons, he has been heard as Beadle Bamford in a new production of Sweeney Todd with Opera Omaha, Don Basilio and Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro in his debut with Virginia Opera and Knoxville Opera, the Fourth Jew in Salome in his debut with Tulsa Opera and a debut with the Palm Beach Symphony as tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem conducted by Gerard Schwarz. He has performed over 80 roles on the operatic stage and has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras including the Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Juilliard and National Symphony Orchestras. In addition to his two-decade stage career, Ferrante has become one of the top voice teachers in the country, teaching professionals who appear on the stages of the world and teaching singers in training programs at the opera companies of Minnesota, Pensacola, Nashville, Portland, Wolf Trap, Arizona and the Brevard and Banff Music Festivals.
Alexandra Sanchez*as Alisa
Praised for her colorful voice and sparkling stage presence, American mezzo-soprano Alexandra Sanchez has been dazzling audiences in her hometown of San Antonio and across the United States. Ms. Sanchez is thrilled to join Pensacola Opera as a Studio Artist in the 2023/3024 season where some of her assignments include singing Alisa (Lucia di Lammermoor) and covering Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus). Ms. Sanchez will also be a young artist with Finger Lakes Opera during their 2023 Summer Season, where she will be covering Amneris in Aida.
Ms. Sanchez made her San Francisco Opera debut singing Sister Claire in Dialogues of the Carmelites under the baton of Music Director Eun Sun Kim. Ms. Sanchez was also selected to be a Fellow at the Festival Napa Valley’s Manetti Shrem Opera Program where she participated in the 2022 Summer Festival which included a concert with celebrated violinist, Joshua Bell.
Ms. Sanchez earned her Artist Diploma (2022) and Master of Music Degree (2021) in Vocal Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the guidance of mezzo-soprano, Catherine Cook. She also holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance (2019) from Louisiana State University.
Lawrence Barasa*as Normanno
Lawrence Barasa Kiharangwa, (Nairobi, Kenya), Tenor, is the Performance Director of the Kenyan Classical Singers’ Organization. A tenor from Kenya, Lawrence developed his artistic profile as a member and Assistant Production Manager of The Kenyan Boys Choir. He has performed the roles of Spoletta in Eugene Opera’s production of Tosca, Don Basilio and Don Curzio in Le
nozze di Figaro at the Astoria Music Festival in 2018, and Hoffmann in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Don José in La tragédie de Carmen at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance.
He also completed training at the Savannah Voice Festival 2019-2020, under the tutelage of Sherrill Milnes and Maria Zouaves. He will be attending Santa Fe Opera as an apprentice artist for the 2023 summer season. This past Fall, Lawrence sang the role of Rodolfo in La bohème and will be singing Don Ottavio in Maryland Opera Studio’s Don Giovanni in the spring of 2023. Lawrence is currently a Graduate International Student at the University of Maryland Opera Studio, studying with Prof. Delores Ziegler.
Anthony Reed*as Raimondo
American bass Anthony Reed makes his debut this season as Figaro Le Nozze di Figaro at New Orleans Opera, fresh from his success as Tchelio The Love for Three Oranges at Des Moines Metro Opera. This season also takes him to France, where he sings the role of Masetto Don Giovanni at Opera de Rouen.
Recent engagements include his Royal Opera House debut as Collatinus The Rape of Lucretia and Simone in both Gianni Schicchi and Buoso’s Ghost at Florida Grand Opera. Other highlights include Sarastro Die Zauberflöte, Truffaldino Ariadne auf Naxos, Il Re Aida, Don Basilio Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Dulcamara L’elisir d’amore and Frère Laurent Roméo et Juliette.
Anthony Reed is a distinguished alumnus of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship and Merola Opera Program, Wolf Trap Opera, Curtis Institute of Music and the University of Wisconsin.
Cody Martinas Conductor
American conductor Cody Martin was recently named Music Director at Pensacola Opera, where he was previously the Director of Education and Director of the Artists in Residence Program since 2017. During the 2023-24 season, he leads a production of Lucia di Lammermoor and serves as associate conductor and chorus director for Die Fledermaus, in addition to continuing his work with the company’s nationally respected Jan Miller Studio Artist Program. Recent seasons have seen Cody leading productions of Carousel, Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, As One, Florencia en el Amazonas, Man of La Mancha and María de Buenos Aires in Pensacola, in addition to various concert appearances. He made his debut with Fargo-Moorhead Opera conducting Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers in 2019. Other companies Cody has enjoyed working with include Des Moines Metro Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Birmingham, Virginia Opera, and the Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center.
Cody holds degrees from Murray State University and Florida State University. He lives in Pensacola with his former shelter dog, Rosina, a corgi/dachshund mix (@rosinathelongdog).