Laura Claycomb Tries To Forget Sutherland And Callas "Lucia"
Creative Coloratura: Laura Claycomb wrote her Lucia cadenzas with conductor Patrick Summers (Photo: Sergio Valente)
"Laura Claycomb dies in the New Orleans Opera production of Lucia di Lammermoor. It happens every time a soprano sings the title role -- and most of the world's great sopranos have done it since Donizetti penned this hyper-romantic, bel canto masterpiece in 1835. So how does Claycomb plan to match Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland and other legends who dwell only in memory or the scratchy recordings prized by opera nuts? 'I had to clean the slate to sing Lucia,' Claycomb said. 'So my first job was trying to forget Callas and Sutherland -- all the great stars on old recordings whose singing has gotten stuck in everyone's ears. People sometimes think that's the only approach, but it's really just the style of the 1950s, the style that emerged more than a century after Donizetti wrote the piece.'... 'If you look at the early performance history of bel canto operas, you can see that the originators chose roles very differently, and that audiences expected lighter, more flexible voices -- my kind of voice -- not the big, inflexible Mack Truck singers that sometimes rumble through this repertoire today,' Claycomb said. Claycomb is thrilled with the New Orleans cast, which includes New Orleanian Casey Candebat, Michael Chioldi and William Burden, among others. She also had praise for stage director E. Loren Meeker, who has helped to set the New Orleans production in the era of Downton Abbey." [Source]