If you’re going to the opera on Sunday — and you should, if you have any sense at all — here’s a quick guide to the performance.
Focus on the soprano. That would be Leah Partridge, pictured above greeting fans after Friday’s performance. She sings the role of Lucia, and she does it with such natural power and clarity and verve and just about every other positive singing attribute that you can imagine that it would hardly matter if the rest of the performance of Lucia di Lammermoor was done by third graders.
(Rest assured: It’s done by pros.)
But Patridge’s performance, starting with her duet with tenor David Gustafson, as Edgardo, brought the audience first to its knees, and finally to its feet, cheering. The guy next to me started babbling happily about being put in touch with the cosmos as her final mad scene ended. I felt myself, inexplicably, near tears. She was that good.
The remarkable thing is, she pulled this off with such a warhorse of the repertoire. “Lucia?” friends scoffed. “Can’t they do something, well, up to date?”
And yet the story of Lucia is absolutely contemporary, when done right.
Basically we’re talking — and, naturally, this is opera — about doomed love. Lucia is in love with one guy, Edgardo; circumstances requite her to marry the other, Arturo. Hearts break, and music flows.
And oh, does it flow. The production, music directed by Andrew Bisantz and stage directed by David Lefovitz, is nearly flawless.
It’s set in contemporary times, with stark black and white costumes by Christopher Verdosci on an industrial stage by Alex Fontain.
Perhaps the biggest surprise — and most haunting, considering the times we live in — is the use of guns for the operatic deaths, instead of knives. This works, sadly, quite perfectly.
You’ve got one more chance to see this, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Rumor has it you can get a deal if you whisper “Go Ducks” when you buy your tickets.