The Mariinsky label s opera recordings have garnered acclaim and awards from around the world, most recently for Valery Gergiev s recording of Parsifal released in 2010. For the label s fifth opera, Gergiev conducts Donizetti s masterpiece Lucia di Lammermoor with a magnificent cast led by Natalie Dessay. Donizetti s tragic opera depicts a family feud set in the Lammermuir hills of Scotland. Inspired by Sir Walter Scott s novel The Bride of Lammermoor, the central character of Lucia Ashton is torn between her family and true love and eventually descends into madness. Dessay is one of the world s most sought-after sopranos and an admired interpreter of lyric heroines. She is particularly renowned for her interpretation of the role of Lucia, which she has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House and the Mariinsky Theatre.
Editor's Choice: ''The new recording from the Mariinsky brings us into another world... Dessay's delicately thought-out heroine [is] well captured in this new Russian set.'' --Gramophone
**** Performance ***** Recording: ''The main attraction is Natalie Dessay as Lucia, a part she can despatch without strain... as post-Maria Callas Lucias go, she is one of the best.'' --BBC Music Magazine
''Easily worth the price of admission for Natalie Dessay's rendering of the title role. [Dessay] owns a flexible, controlled soprano that seems to have limitless expressive possibilities. Her high notes are thrilling... Gergiev leads stylishly and energetically.The reproduction of the exotic glass harmonica during Lucia's famous 'mad scene' is exquisite.'' --The Absolute Sound