LUCIA ASHTON

“Il dolce suono mi colpì di sua voce!…Ah, quella voce m’è qui nel cor discesa! Edgardo, io ti son resa, Edgardo, ah, Edgardo mio! Sì, ti son resa, fuggita io son da’ tuoi nemici. Un gelo mi serpeggia nel sen! Trema ogni fibra!…Vacilla il piè! Presso la fonte meco t’assidi alquanto. Ohimè! Sorge il tremendo fantasma, e ne separa! Ohimè! Ohimè! Edgardo! Edgardo! Ah! Il fantasma ne separa! Qui ricovriamo, Edgardo, a piè dell’ara. Sparsa è di rose!…Un’armonia celeste, di’, non ascolti? Ah! L’inno suona di nozze! Il rito per noi s’appresta!…Oh me felice! Edgardo, Edgardo, oh me felice! Oh, gioia che si sente e non si dice! Ardon gli incensi…splendon le sacre faci, splendon intorno! Ecco il Ministro! Porgimi la destra…Oh, lieto giorno! Alfin son tua, alfin sei mio, a me ti dona un Dio. Ogni piacer più grato, mi fia con te diviso, Del ciel clemente un riso la vita a noi sarà! Spargi d’amaro pianto il mio terrestre velo, mentre lassù nel cielo io pregherò per te. Al giunger tuo soltanto, fia bello il ciel per me, ah sì, per me.”

– “Il Dolce Suono…Ardon gli Incensi…Spargi d’amaro Pianto” Miss Lucia Ashton from Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Libretto by Salvatore Cammarano, based on the Sir Walter Scott’s historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor, first performance on September 26, 1835 at Naples’ Teatro di San Carlo.

English Translation LUCY ASHTON I was stirred by the sweet sound of his voice! Ah, that voice won this heart of mine! Edgardo, I am yours again, Edgardo, ah, my Edgardo! Yes, I am yours again, I escaped from your enemies. An icy shiver creeps in my bosom. Every nerve quivers! My step falters! Sit with me a while near the fountain. Alas! The terrible spectre rises and parts us! Alas! Alas! Edgardo! Edgardo! Ah! The spectre…parts us! Here let us hide, Edgardo, at the foot of the altar. it is strewn with roses! Celestial harmony, do you not hear it? Ah, strains of our wedding-hymn! The ceremony awaits us. Oh, how happy I am! Edgardo, Edgardo, how happy I am! Oh, joy that I feel but cannot express! The incense is burning – the sacred torches are glowing all around! Here is the minister! Give me your hand…Oh, happy day! At last I am yours, at last you are mine, God has given you to me. Every rare pleasure I shall share with you. Life for us will be a gentle smile from heaven. Shed bitter tears on my earthly garment, while in Heaven above I will pray for you. Only when you join me, will Heaven be blissful for me, ah yes, for me.

This piece of Mina fan art, which is my submission for That-RepliQueen-Kyo’s Fantastic Frights Art Contest, is dedicated to TetraModal, petiteantoinette, OperaticAnimeNimue, RCBlazer, NoeltheFireRabbit, KingofSupremeChaos, KessieLou, InuKa-RR-Hijinkessou, senyphine, Rayryan90, xong, Lumazaco, Nikki1975, V0NAX, TheRandomCat88, Smol-Marshmallow, Petunia43, SoDrawnOut, Lizally, Catspirasi, syahilla, marreeps, bubbles213, ChickTristen94, Thescarletsail, rocioam7, Betty-M, AdeHughesArt, YamTheMan, YohLah, Gamerrobloxian1195, TheGentlemanCupcake, Silent-Sid, surrenderdammit, Beshflorin, LevyRasputin, JuPMod, FanasY, Mikireikai, Aiiga, nigrum-ferro, bleedman, li-jean, RosalinasSoulmate, Arcadia714, Yona-Hime, amane-yugi, VioletTrinity, drankspikes, Claret821021, gabzillaz, PhillLord, keijipeiji, MoostarGazer, Bluunachronicles, lucianogiordano, kokamugithu, PinkuNoHato, PookieArt, SithVampireMaster27, GiuAto, Kokistarr, CristianoReina, venntris, ErinPtah, JekyllAndHydeChannel, guardian-angel15, RavenHeartStudios, VanillaBerp123, EyeBeast, adamhatson, SonicClone, LoveEmerald, Cinnamon-Swirls, blameshiori, G-Crepin, PinkHyrulePrincess, Shvestko, Ryoko-368, ilovepoop97, Towers-of-Obscure, Tigerlover1993, CartoonSweeties, zorenaandcoya, peachiphobiax, and RedSmilaSmiles who celebrated their birthdays ranging from several weeks ago all the way up to today. I would also love to dedicate this to my wonderful mother who celebrated her birthday ten days ago and who I continue to be so thankful for her endless support, relentless encouragement, and unconditional love, the very components which have made me the person I am today. Furthermore, this is dedicated to those who are celebrating their birthday today in this Halloween season. Therefore, I hope you all had wonderful birthdays, and I wish you a lot of love, grace, beauty, strength, perseverance, abundance, prosperity, and joy in everything you do in your lives as artists and as people. Happy Halloween, everybody! I am really excited to partake in this art contest because I am completely inspired and compelled to get my creative powers up and running.

Coming in to this art contest, I got myself acquainted with That-RepliQueen-Kyo’s OCs when I stumbled upon Mina. I figured that she would be the perfect model for one of my most favourite Donizetti opera heroines of all time as well as one of my most treasured heroines from Sir Walter Scott’s literary oeuvre, Miss Lucia Ashton known in English as Miss Lucy Ashton. Mina’s hair and overall girlishness compelled me to match it up nicely with Lucia in her famous mad scene. For those of you not in the know of the opera based on Scott’s historical novel, Lucia Ashton, sung by either a lyric coloratura soprano or a dramatic coloratura soprano, is in love with Sir Edgardo Ravenswood, sung by either a lyric tenor or a spinto tenor, and they intend to elope and get married in secret because the Ashtons and the Ravenswoods have been in a long feud against each other due to Edgardo’s father being stripped of his title as lord for supporting King James VII, thus having the Ashton’s purchase the Ravenswood estate. Enrico Ashton, Lucia’s brother sung by a Kavalierbariton, detests Edgardo so much to the point where he wants to destroy his romantic relationship with Lucia by setting her up with the Ashtons’ political ally, Sir Arturo Bucklaw sung by a light lyric tenor, with the family retainer and Calvinist chaplain, Raimondo Bidebent sung by a basso cant ante, being hesitant about the recent developments. The situation comes to a head when Enrico forges a letter stating that Edgardo has found another lover, Raimondo persuades Lucia to forget about Edgardo, Edgardo crashing Lucia’s and Arturo’s wedding to curse her, Enrico and Edgardo arranging for a duel at the Wolf’s Crag, and poor Lucia going insane to the point of murdering Arturo and imagining her supposed marriage to Edgardo before doing herself in.

You will notice that there are sixteen Ghostfaces surrounding Mina as the bloodied Lucia. Despite this anachronism, seeing that Ghostface did not exist until the late 1990s and the entire story of The Bride of Lammermoor being set in 17th century Scotland, I see these bloodied phantoms as a representation of all the ghosts Lucia encountered during her time near the fountain recounting the tale when a young maiden died a forlorn death. They could also function as the chorus remarking how far gone Lucia is in the moment, with the opening lines being Raimondo’s “Eccola!” (Here she comes!) and the chorus remarking “Oh giusto cielo! Par dalla tomba uscita!” (Oh, merciful Heaven! She looks as if she has risen from the grave!). The uncut version of Lucia’s mad scene also witnesses Enrico arriving to see his poor sister in a pitiful state, while she remarks that she could still remember how wrathfully Edgardo cursed her and how she was set up to marry Arturo who she did not even love. Lucia’s mad scene is one of my most favourite coloratura soprano showpieces of all time. Where the original novel sees Lucy mumbling and muttering by the chimney after nearly fatally wounding Sir Francis Bucklaw before escaping his ordeal with her, the opera sees Lucia finally killing Arturo and emerging from the crime scene with an elaborate mad scene before she expires. This operatic moment, in turn, has become one of the most coveted showpieces for many a coloratura soprano. Whether it is a dramatic coloratura soprano like Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland or Cristina Deutekom or a lyric coloratura soprano like Beverly Sills, Roberta Peters or Anna Moffo singing this, listeners and viewers alike can never go wrong with any soprano taking on Lucia thanks to the technical challenges this role has to offer, vocally and theatrically, although, I am more in favour of a lyric coloratura soprano singing Lucia because she is still a young woman in love, and her coloratura work illustrates her enamoured nature in the first act and her crippling young mind in her mad scene. I do have some favourite sopranos singing Lucia’s mad scene, and, believe me, I have a ton. However, I shall limit myself to fourteen favourite exponents because I can. For your listening pleasure, here are Mercedes Capsir, Lina Pagliughi, Karola Agay, Beverly Sills, Evgeniya Miroshnichenko, Anna Moffo, Bela Rudenko, Margherita Rinaldi, Silvia Voinea, Mariella Devia, Luba Orgonasova, Annick Massis, Youngok Shin, and Klara Kolonits. Out of all these sopranos, Devia and Kolonits are the only ones singing in the original higher key of F, as the key of E-flat is the usually performed version, with the other higher key of E being just as performed. Additionally worth mentioning is the implementation of the glass harmonica as done in the original version of Lucia’s mad scene. This usually ends up being replaced by a flute. I contend that the glass harmonica heightens the insanity Lucia is in as well as the haunting atmosphere of the overall scene. I additionally contend that Lucia’s mad scene as well as the other usually transposed numbers should be performed in their original higher keys because this will help us opera listeners become more sensitised with how these arias, duets, and ensembles were performed. I hope you enjoy this selection of coloratura sopranos singing Lucia’s mad scene commencing with Il dolce suono and culminating in Spargi d’amaro pianto.

Mercedes Capsir Il dolce suono…Ardon gli incensi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBF4nkpdJ50 Spargi d’amaro pianto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaZ3HiQtg6w

Lina Pagliughi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3ixeR10Zes

Karola Agay https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYskSEwbyrM

Beverly Sills (with the glass harmonica) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFxT5gimKjc

Evgeniya Miroshnichenko https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJoOYNL5bcs Anna Moffo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7PPtC5_e6s

Bela Rudenko https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQxrWwGjwJ8

Margherita Rinaldi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPEJZvX8aCI

Silvia Voinea Il dolce suono: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZvZMIdjpPg Ardon gli incensi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL7CDT8AFPU Spargi d’amaro pianto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hiXKuIMbY0

Mariella Devia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF6SbG-8-G8

Luba Orgonasova https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6v8Ck_XwaM

Annick Massis Il dolce suono: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9sB8sRKTAY Alfin son tua: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4L0mzGDRoZY Spargi d’amaro pianto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acq73D5HVU8 Youngok Shin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0upd2gAz4s

Klara Kolonits https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZpUMDTIaM8

I hope you all enjoyed this, and please let me know which performance of Lucia’s Mad Scene you love the most and which one you think accompanies this picture the best. Take care, stay safe, and have a very Happy Halloween complete with all the ghosts Lucia has in store for you, everybody. Mina belongs to That-RepliQueen-Kyo.

About Author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.