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Juan Diego Flórez and Olga Peretyatko: Vienna's tragic lovers

Juan Diego Flórez and Olga Peretyatko: Vienna's tragic lovers
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It's one of the delights of the bel canto-repertoire: Donizetti's opera “Lucia di Lammermoor”. Laurent Pelly creates a dreamlike and mysterious atmosphere at the Vienna Staatsoper . Olga Peretyatko and Juan Diego Flórez incarnate the tragic lovers.

Passion, despair and madness are at the heart of Donizetti's “Lucia di Lammermoor”. The Vienna Staatsoper, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, is presenting a new staging by Laurent Pelly. The great tenor Juan Diego Flórez and star soprano Olga Peretyatko are the tragic lovers in this ravishing score.

The famous French Stage Director offers his intepretation of the opera: "There is always a constant heartbeat. For me the music is full of energy and tension."

"The height of bel canto"

Tenor Juan Diego Flórez explains: "It's about the singing. Of course it is also about expression and theatre, there's a lot of drama here, but the singing, is the most important, it was the height of bel canto."

The opera from 1835 explores the despair of Lucia who loves Edgardo, but is forced into an arranged marriage that leads her into insanity and death.

"What I really wanted to avoid with Lucia is the realism," adds Pelly. "For me this piece is more like a horror movie. It's a story about a young girl who is manipulated by all these men around her. She is a fragile girl, fragile psychologically."

A unique instrument

The Glass harmonica - a unique instrument - accompanies the iconic scene of madness that depicts the cascading elements of Lucia’s disintegrating mind.

"This is extraordinary, especially with this Glass harmonica. It has such an effect, it's transcendental. It's not at all from this world," says soprano, Olga Peretyatko.

Exploring this intense scene, Pelly explains: "The madness is also like a projection. She is imagining Edgardo the whole time next to her. And then there is this great moment for me which should be almost like a sensual moment. In front of all these people, she is almost miming the act of love."

"In the mad scene you can show all kinds of facets, different sides and show all your colours," adds Peretyatko.

To conclude, Juan Diego Flórez explains: "I sing this magnificent, oh my god, what a difficult and beautiful ending." He adds, "If you become creative while you're singing, you can really even make it more beautiful you know...me, as a singer I can really explore different shades of expression."