February 1st, 2004

Lucia goes mad

Last night at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, I saw Lucia di Lammermoor, the opera by Donizetti. By the way, the opening song of the mad scene appears prominently in the movie, "The Fifth Element," which I recommend for those who enjoy things over the top.) The mad scene in Lucia is all about denial, on a grand scale. She has just killed her bridegroom in their bedroom, and she wanders down into the wedding party, which is still in progress. In her blood-smeared night shift, she throws a damper on the festivities, of course. But what adds to the ghastliness is that she seems (mostly) unaware of what she has done, and seems unable to recognize who or what she is talking to. It's a moving scene, and we feel her despair partly through her own unwillingness to feel it.

Silly poem of the day:

Brings smiles
In the face of grief.

That's some relief
But the pain still hides