Lucia di Lammermoor (‘Lucy of Lammermoor’)
- William Ashbrook
(‘Lucy of Lammermoor’)
Dramma tragico in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti to a libretto by Salvadore Cammarano after Walter Scott’s novel The Bride of Lammermoor; Naples, Teatro S Carlo, 26 September 1835.
Before Cammarano adapted Scott’s novel, it had been the basis of three earlier Italian librettos – by Giuseppe Balocchi for Michele Carafa’s Le nozze di Lammermoor (1829, Paris), Calisto Bassi for Luigi Rieschi’s La fidanzata di Lammermoor (1831, Trieste) and Pietro Beltrame for Alberto Mazzucato’s La fidanzata di Lammermoor (1834, Padua). Like nearly all the Scott operas, Donizetti’s Lucia departs from its model in several ways. Cammarano made the original characters Frank Hayston, Laird of Bucklaw, Ailsie Gourlay and the Reverend Peter Bide-the-Bent into, respectively, Lord Arturo Bucklaw, Alisa and Raimondo Bidebent, conflating Lucy’s father Sir William Ashton and her elder brother Colonel Sholto Ashton into Enrico Ashton. (Some English adaptations use the names Sir Arthur Bucklaw, Alice, Raymond Bide-the-Bent and Sir Henry Ashton.) Although Scott’s most memorable villainess, Lucy’s mother, is left out altogether, much of the powerful plot survives....