Lucie Kaňková as Lucia di Lammermoor in the State Opera

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The concert version of Donizetti’s famous opera Lucia di Lammermoor will be performed on Saturday, March 11, under the baton of the music director of the State Opera Andrije Jurkevyč, performed by the Choir and Orchestra of the State Opera. The title role will be played by Lucie Kaňková. Other roles will include Pavol Kubáň as Enrico, Daniel Matoušek as Arturo, Iurie Maimescu as Raimondo, Lucie Hilscherová as Alisa and Ivan Kusnjer as Normanno.


The State Opera will celebrate an evening full of bel canto with an exceptional concert performance of Gaetano Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lammermoor . “Opera Lucia di Lammermoor is one of the most famous bel canto operas in history, ” says the music director of the State Opera Andrij Jurkevyč , who was enchanted by this repertoire during his artistic career in Italy. Authors like Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini were a revelation to me. I fell in love with their world of musical images, ideas and voices, ” the conductor reveals his musical feelings.

The very history of this work is very interesting in relation to Prague: Lucia di Lammermoor was already performed in the Estates Theater in 1838 with Kateřina Podhorská Kometová in the title role and from 1864 in the Provisional Theater, where it was also conducted by Bedřich Smetana . In the famous scene of madness, on the stage of the New German Theater in April 1900, the legendary singer Nelie Melba , one of the most famous representatives of Donizetti’s heroine, who, around 1880, began to sing an extensive cadenza at the end of the slow part of the aria of madness, or in this case a duel between flute and soprano, in style “who is higher and more virtuosic”.


The story of the opera is based on the plot of Walter Scott’s novel The Bride of Lammermoor . It deals with the unfortunate fate of the love of Lucia and Edgardo, which is defended by Lucia’s brother Enrico. We will see a number of misunderstandings, murder and suicide, but also many moments of love and tenderness and beautiful, even virtuosic melodies and arias. The so-called madness aria of the main heroine is famous, which has become the touchstone of all famous coloratura sopranos.

“For me, in this musical drama, the music of the hearts that dream of a bright future and swear loyalty to each other wins, which is contained precisely in the duet of Lucia and Edgard in the 1st act,” explains Andrij Jurkevyč, adding: “I am always impressed in this opera one episode: the silent cry of Lucia’s soul that precedes the famous sextet that stops the bloody carnage. Feminine beauty, sincerity of love, invulnerability of feelings and duty can stop any bloodshed, any cruel fratricide. Both then, many years ago, and now, in our 21st century. I honestly believe that. 


As the representative of the title role, Andrij Jurkevyč chose Lucia Kaňková , whom he says is a talented, young Czech singer, whose voice and acting abilities he already knew before arriving in Prague. ” Her interpretation and musicality really impress me. Plus her voice sounds very “Italian”. We chose the representative of Edgardo, Italian tenor Matteo Desole, to match Lucia’s youth and voice type. He abounds in the warm color of his voice and his musicality is at the highest level. We are also waiting for the debut of a young but already experienced baritone in the role of Enrico, Pavol Kubáň, whose voice is perfectly suited to this operatic style, ” says the conductor.


Lucie Kaňková , who regularly performs in Prague especially in the role of the Queen of the Night, Violetta Valéra or Gilda, says about her new artistic task that singing through the whole role is like painting a picture for her. The brushstrokes are never austere and regular, and specifically in bel canto and in the role of Lucia di Lammermoor, one must constantly create. Each phrase has a new idea, a new mood, a different tempo. Lucia’s personality is incredibly multifaceted. In the last part, she completely loses her sanity and immerses herself in her own visions, while her disturbed psyche can be seen from the beginning of the opera. “It never ceases to amaze me how many positions can be found in this role and how emotions are reflected in fast runs and beautiful melodies. The final scene is deservedly the most famous scene of madness, where reality disappears completely and Lucia surrenders to her own inner world. It’s a new interpretative dimension for me, in which I find no boundaries, ” the soprano confesses.

Photo: illustration – Fb Lucie Kaňková, Wikipedia (free work), Fb Andrije Jurkevyč