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Classical Notes

Lucia di Lammermoor Follies

Posted at 5:49 PM on January 19, 2007 by Rex Levang (7 Comments)

It's a little surprising to see that this week's Metropolitan Opera broadcast is "Lucia di Lammermoor," starring --- Maria Callas?

The explanation is that the Met has changed their calendar. They take a break from live performances for a couple weeks in January, and include in their broadcast schedule archival recordings -- such as this one from 1956. It was the only Saturday matinee appearance by this operatic superstar, who died in 1977.

There's a curious story about "Lucia" that figures in the career of another diva, and this one takes place a little closer to home. The first time that the Met performed "La Boheme" in Minnesota, during a tour in 1900, it was still a modern and somewhat unfamiliar opera. So to round out the evening -- and perhaps to give her fans what they really wanted -- the star soprano of the evening, the famous Nellie Melba, followed up a complete "Boheme" with the Mad Scene from "Lucia di Lammermoor."

What a combination!

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