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This is pretty average; rarely can Lucia have generated so little excitement or emotion. There’s nothing hugely wrong with Jesús López-Cobos’s conducting, but there is much scrappy playing and singing from the Munich Opera Chorus and Orchestra – the voices disappear into the orchestral tuttis and it’s all a bit soupy. You probably don’t need me to tell you Diana Damrau hasn’t the pathos for Lucia, and even after her extended mad scene (added for Nellie Melba in 1888, and complete with Sascha Reckert’s glass harmonica and distended cadenza) she doesn’t sound remotely emotionally exhausted – it sounds more like she’s just finished the Jewel Song. There are moments in her duet with bad bro Enrico (Ludovic Tézier) where emotion threatens to break in, but otherwise it’s rather a cold, if expert, performance. The big compensation is Joseph Calleja’s Edgardo – that trademark mixture of easy candour and a slight huskiness; the Wolf ’s Crag barney between Arturo and Enrico generates a bit of drama, and ‘Tu che a Dio spiegasti’ finally wrenches the heart – but all too late.

Robert Thicknesse Read the full review on Agora Classica


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