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Lucia di Lammermoor


Learn more about the background to Tayside Opera's upcoming show

In early 19th century Italy, Scotland was seen as a wild and romantic place, a land of poetry and civil strife - the perfect setting for drama and opera.


Sir Walter Scott was one of the best-known writers of his era. Scott’s historical novel, The Bride of Lammermoor, was published in 1819 as part of his hugely popular Waverley series. Based on a real-life incident and family legend, fictionalised to take place in the Lammermuir Hills of Lowland Scotland just before the 1707 Act of Union, the novel tells the story of Lucy Ashton and her doomed love affair with Edgar Ravenswood.

Donizetti took this bestselling book and, with his librettist Salvadore Cammarano, turned it into a three-act opera for the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. The opera distills the most dramatic elements at the heart of the novel into a simple, tragic tale of thwarted love, deception and madness. 


Lucia di Lammemoor was an instant hit when it premiered in 1835, and has been part of the standard operatic repertoire ever since. 

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