If you have never witnessed a live opera, Boheme Opera NJ will whisk you off to 17th century Scotland and the haunting hills of Lammermoor to experience a story that will bring you to the edge of your seat, both visually and musically. This Gothic romance tells of betrayal and shame as the emotionally fragile Lucia Ashton is caught in a conflict between her own family and that of her lover’s of the Ravenswood clan.
On Friday, April 7, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 9, at 3 p.m., Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor will come to life at Kendall Main Stage Theater at the College of New Jersey Center for the Arts in Ewing. Stunning virtual sets and period costumes will heighten the intensity of this production, to be sung in Italian with projected English supertitles. Pre-curtain talks with musical themes will be offered one hour prior.
Based upon the Sir Walter Scott novel The Bride of Lammermoor, this opera is a fabulous first-time experience for new audiences. History’s stereotypes of war and feuding, as well as the desire for families to link together for power and wealth, are the inspiration for one of opera’s most popular works.
Not aware of how intense her love for his enemy Edgardo is, Lucia’s power-hungry brother Enrico pushes her beyond her psychological threshold, until she completely unravels on her unlikely wedding night, setting the stage for opera’s greatest ‘Mad Scene’.
In its 28th consecutive season, Boheme Opera has assembled an impressive cast, six of whom will debut their roles in this production, including national soprano Dana Pundt, who will sing the title role. Possessing a distinct and intense stage personality, she has been heard in major roles at Glimmerglass Festival, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Iowa and West Bay Opera.
Ms. Pundt is joined by Metropolitan Opera artists, tenor Todd Wilander and baritone Daniel Sutin in the respective roles of Edgardo and Enrico. Since winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Mr. Wilander, the only cast member who has sung his role in the past, has appeared at the Met as Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Beppe in I Pagliacci, among others. Mr. Sutin has been seen in the title role of Wozzeck and as The One Eyed Brother in Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Metropolitan Opera and recently performed Giorgio Germont in La Traviata with the Savonlinna Opera Festival, as well as the title role of Rigoletto in Hong Kong.
Rounding out the cast are four emerging artists in supporting roles. Bass Martin Hargrove sings Raimondo Bide-the-Bent, Lucia’s trusted friend and chaplain, who betrays her. Tenor Christopher Hodson sings Arturo Bucklaw, who Enrico is forcing Lucia to marry for personal gain. Soprano Rachel Cetel sings Alisa, Lucia’s close companion. Youngest cast member Emmanuel Acosta sings Normanno, Captain of the Guard, who is aware early on of Enrico’s despicable plan.
Accompanying the cast and the Boheme Opera Chorus is the Boheme Opera Orchestra, all under the baton of BONJ Artistic Director Joseph Pucciatti. Stage directing is Eve Summer, with an active background as a director, producer and choreographer.
Tickets are on sale through the TCNJ box office — online 24/7 at www.Bit.ly/BONJ_Lucia and by phone at (609) 771-2775. Ask about group sale discount for 10 or more. Student tickets are $15. A special needs shuttle will be on campus in collaboration with Mercer County T.R.A.D.E.
Major Sponsor for this production of Lucia di Lammermoor is the new Holiday Inn Express of Bordentown, with pristine artist accommodations.
Programming for Boheme Opera NJ’s 28th Anniversary Season is made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Stark & Stark Attorneys At Law, NJM Insurance Group, Pisauro Levy & Palumbo PA, Mercer County Italian-American Festival Association, Italian American National Hall of Fame, Princeton Friends of Opera, Dorothea van Dyck McLane Association, Investors Bank, Matching Gifts from Bank of America, Bristol-Myers Squibb, ETS, Johnson & Johnson, as well as many dedicated individual donors.
For information on Boheme Opera’s main stage and outreach, visit www.bohemeopera.com.