Lucia - Desiree Rancatore
Sir Edgardo di Ravenswood - Roberto De Biasio
Lord Enrico Ashton - Luca Grassi
Raimondo Bidebent - Enrico Giuseppe Iori
Lord Arturo - Matteo Barca
Alisa - Tiziana Falco
Normanno - Vincenzo Maria Sarinelli
In July 1835 Donizetti was to have staged the first of the three new operas for which he had signed a contract with the management of the San Carlo theatre; but things, as so often happens in the world of opera, did not work out as the composer had intended. The subject - Walter Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor - had long since been chosen but the direction had not provided for having the libretto written so that it could be read and approved by the censor by the beginning of March, four months before the scheduled date of the première, as the contract stipulated. At the end of May, at the composer's urgent bidding, the writing of the libretto was entrusted to Salvatore Cammarano, destined to become one of the composer's favorite working partners: yet the date of the première, inevitably, had to be postponed. After many problems, Lucia di Lammermoor was at last staged on the evening of 26th September 1835. Its success went beyond even the most optimistic of expectations. The press too, in recording the authentic triumph of the opera, was generous in its praise. Reports of the time highlight one fact: what triumphed on the evening of 26th September 1835 was above all Donizetti's music, not the singers, excellent and "in the parts" as they were. In that memorable evening everybody realized that Donizetti had created an opera of such musical quality and novelty of invention as he had never before attained, capable of communicating its values with truly unique immediacy and emotive strength. Désirée Rancatore, here debuting in the title role, proves to be more than equal to the task.