Soprano Diana Damrau’s Stark Warning About New Production | Music News
Covent Garden customers in a Royal Opera House have received a warning about the explicit and upsetting content of its new production, the 19th-century gothic romance Lucia di Lammermoor, from soprano songstress Diana Damrau.
She has also urged caution, while staunchly defending the violence and realism of the planned staging, saying:
“I think audiences are going to leave feeling quite shaken. They will see what people in desperate circumstances are able to do and that is actually the basis of this drama. Everybody is desperate and it gets very dark and very sad and horrible. So, I am sorry, be ready for blood”.
Damrau argues that the opera’s story of madness and murder dictates some stage violence and this adaption satisfies a modern demand for emotional credibility. “It is a violent opera. There is a lot of emotional violence, as well as real violence. I kill somebody! And there is a lot of anger and tension. It is actually about a state of war between two families”.
Her role, which involves vocal gymnastics and high notes, poses issues for younger fans. She said, “It has the most beautiful singing and music, but I think this warning had to be given, because I have six-year-old fans whose families send them to see me in Traviata”.
“I would say, don’t send them to see Lucia because it is very realistic and it is going to be violent: more than in normal Lucias. And this is not something a younger audience should see. An older audience can take it – they are not in danger – but they will see something very strong”.
The Opera House’s warning follows complaints and controversy last year over a graphic rape scene in Damiano Michieletto’s production of Rossini’s Guillaume Tell.
After last week’s advice to ticket holders that “the team’s approach will lead to scenes that feature sexual acts portrayed on stage and other scenes that – as you might expect from the story of Lucia – feature violence”, forty refunds were reportedly requested, but there were still strong sales.
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