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Lucia di Lammermoor preview

Donizetti’s beloved Lucia di Lammermoor stars the Met’s brightest star, Anna Netrebko, Wednesday, April 15 at 9 p.m. (ET) on Great Performances at the Met on PBS HD (check local listings).

Soprano Netrebko, returning to the Met stage for the first time since giving birth to son Tiago in September, dazzles in the demanding title role, a young woman driven to madness by love and politics. Piotr Beczala co-stars as Lucia’s head-strong lover Edgardo. The telecast is conducted by Marco Armiliato and presented by THIRTEEN in 5.1 surround sound.

“These enormously gifted and appealing artists won ardent ovations,” cheered The New York Times. “We are lucky to have them around.”

Eschewing the work’s traditional 1700s Scottish setting, the production – by Mary Zimmerman and which opened the Met last season – was hailed by AP as “handsomely traditional and imaginatively provocative.” Zimmerman – along with set designer Daniel Ostling, costume designer Mara Blumenfeld, lighting designer T. J. Gerckens, and choreographer Daniel Pelzig – stages the bel canto favorite as a Victorian ghost story

The piece, with its famous Mad Scene (and Sextet), has long served as a vehicle for beloved coloratura sopranos. Since its premiere in 1836, it has showcased such legendary interpreters as Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, Beverly Sills, and, most recently Anna Netrebko and Natalie Dessay.

Also featuring baritone Mariusz Kwiecien as Lucia’s brother, Enrico, and Ildar Abdrazakov as Raimondo, Great Performances at the Met: Lucia di Lammermoor is the sixth of 11 productions airing this season on the series. It is sung in Italian with English surtitles; Salvatore Cammarano wrote the libretto. The production was transmitted onstage as part of The Met: Live in HD February 7, 2009, and recorded for this telecast. Gary Halvorson directs, with Natalie Dessay as host. Jay Saks is audio producer.

Great Performances at the Met is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG – one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.

Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, Vivian Milstein, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers, and PBS. Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers.

For the Met, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.