Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor - Zeani, Kraus, Oppicelli, Zerbini; Zedda. Piacenza, 1964
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When you consider the fact that many of the stratospheric high notes in Lucia di Lammermoor are not in the score, a good argument can emerge that the part was actually intended for a more lyric instrument as opposed to the chirpy soubrette sopranos that are often cast. Virginia Zeani, in this performance, makes a good case for that argument, bringing spinto lyricism that you might expect more from Verdi than Donizetti. Dramatically the approach works very well, particularly during her mad scene in which Zeani commands the stage like a raging tiger as opposed to wounded bird to chilling effect. Alfredo Kraus is at his absolute best as Edgardo. Antonio Zerbini’s booming Raimondo must also be singled out as world class. Please note that in almost all the beginning of the scenes there is about ten seconds missing. In addition, the chorus and Raimondo’s aria before the mad scene and the end of the opera are missing.
Virginia Zeani sings ”Avvi un Dio che in sua clemenza” from Maria di Rohan