By Alexandra Carmen
Boheme Opera NJ came to the College on April 9 to perform Gaetano Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.” The powerful production was sung in Italian and took place at Kendall Hall’s Main Stage.
Soprano Dana Pundt, a recent graduate of the Young Artists Program of the Seattle Opera, played the title role, Lucia. Baritone Daniel Sutin, a member of Boheme Opera NJ since 2000, performed alongside Pundt as Lucia’s brother, Enrico. Tenor Todd Wilander also performed as Edgardo, Lucia’s lover.
Pundt’s recognition as a singer is growing, with a strong stage presence and a striking voice. She is a former apprentice artist at the Glimmerglass Festival and Des Moines Metro Opera. She has played several other roles, including Anna Gomez in “The Consul” and Ivette in “La Rondine.”
Sutin has performed in several productions, including as Biterof in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s “Tannhauser,” Wozzeck at the Metropolitan Opera and Giorgio Germont with the Savonlinna Opera Festival in “La Traviata.”
Wilander is also a reputable performer, winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council singing competition and playing several roles in “Il Barber di Siviglia,” “I Pagliacci,” “The Nose,” “Hamlet,” “House of the Dead” and “Macbeth.”
Boheme Opera NJ was founded in 1981 in the parking lot of a church in Trenton, N.J., and evolved into a professional production company over eight years. In 1989, Boheme Opera NJ had its inaugural main sage season with fully staged productions of Puccini’s “Tosca” and “Verdi’s La Traviata.”
Act I opens with retainers checking the area near the castle due to suspicion that Edgardo had been lurking. Lucia is introduced to the scene and tells Alisa of the legend of the fountain, where one of her ancestors was stabbed to death by her lover and came back as a ghost.
Alisa tells Lucia she needs to give up the light of her life, Edgardo, who tells Lucia he is leaving for an abroad mission and wants to make amends with his enemies, the Ashtons. Lucia tells him her brother still resents him, which leads to another song in which Edgardo reiterates his hate for her family, but love for Lucia.
Act II, Scene 1 is set in Ashton’s apartment when he tells Lucia Lord Arturo Bucklaw will be there shortly for their betrothal ceremony, which will save his fortunes, after he destroyed letters from Edgardo and uses forgery to prove Edgardo unfaithful. Ashton grows increasingly angry when Lucia expresses opposition and “dissolves into another, less real world.”
Lucia believes Edgardo has cheated on her and will not make any decisions without first consulting the family chaplain, who suggests she follows her brother’s wishes.
Act II, Scene 2 takes place in a hall within the Lammermoor castle. Both Arturo and Lucia arrive and the wedding contract is signed, and Edgardo returns from overseas to find his lover has already been married. The sextet, “Chi mi frena in tal momento?” begins with Enrico and Edgardo, and Edgardo realizes he still loves Lucia.
Lucia thinks aloud about her wish for death to save her from the situation and several characters join in to pray to heaven that her wish comes true. Edgardo does not believe his eyes when he sees the marriage contract and curses Lucia and her family.
In Act III, Scene 1, opens when Raimondo, the chaplain, hysterically interrupts the marriage celebrations to inform guests that Lucia has gone crazy and killed Arturo. Lucia appears and seems happy in her madness and hallucinates. She believes her and Edgardo will be married. Lucia falls, dying in the arms of Alisa.
In Act III, Scene 2, Edgardo is unaware of the tragedy that has taken place and wants to die because he believes Lucia has betrayed him. He sees several mourners from the castle who tell him of Lucia’s death and love for him. Edgardo shoves his dagger into his chest before other characters can convince him not to, and he hopes to join Lucia in heaven.