Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Jessica Pratt sings Lucia in Melbourne

Before the show
Level 1 stairwell
Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne is worth visiting even if you are not going  to a show. It's a lovely old (1886) building which has retained it's charm, with original high backed chairs for waiting guests and fresh flowers in front of segmented mirrors.

It was a wonderful venue to see the Victorian Opera production of Lucia di Lammermoor by  Gaetano Donizetti with Jessica Pratt performing the lead role.

As I waited for the curtain to rise I wondered if I had chosen a seat too far forward as my fifth row seat seemed very near the stage. My seat neighbour assured me that front seats were good seats as sound didn't carry particularly well in this hall.

She was right and it was a real treat to see Jessica Pratt, sing her signature role Lucia from such a good vantage point.

(Dame Nellie Melba, another famous Lucia, refused to sing in this venue which she declared 'dead', until it was modified in 1911.)
Jessica Pratt as Lucia
(Victorian Opera website)
Jessica has a very beautiful voice that is perfectly pitched. In addition she is an excellent actor and looked every bit the happy nineteen year old when she first pranced onto the stage.

The score includes a glass harmonica in the mad scene which is  usually left out nowadays as it is considered 'too quiet',  but in Melbourne it was included (played by Philippa Safely) and added enormously to the opera. Lucia sang and was echoed and answered by this ethereal sounding harmonica. It made it easy to put yourself in Lucia's shoes and feel what she felt.

It was a wonderful performance played brilliantly.  Congratulations Jessica Pratt.

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