Barbara Wysocka. Photo: Adam Tuchliński (detail) View full image

Barbara Wysocka introduces Liceu Lucia

Barbara Wysocka introduced her Liceu production of Lucia di Lammermoor at a press conference this morning. The production, which was originally staged at Bayerische Staatsoper, opens on 16 July.

In her speech, she said: 'The first production of Lucia I did it was six years ago, when the world was completely different. For me, Lucia di Lammermoor is a political story in which love and sadness are in conflict with the fight for power, which is always a strong theme in theatre and opera. The love and political themes are both important in this production. Lucia is very strong woman, and she has to fight for her freedom in this society. The only way she can take leads to death. That’s the tragedy.

'We were looking for a time and place where the story could feel real and decided to set it in the US in the 1960s, during the time of the Kennedys, because what happens in this opera would have been possible then. As we know, even today it’s possible that women must fight for their rights in some parts of the world.

'Stories of the dangerous connections between love, power and family are good material for the theatre. Another important theme for me is death. As we know, Donizetti experienced a lot of death – of his parents, children and wife. Working on this production now, as we have a pandemic in the world, with so many people dying, this theme has become even stronger for me. I hear death in this music.

'With madness and mental illness, people who fight against power are often considered to be mad, but it is also sometimes a political method to them push away. For me, Lucia is not ill. She's very strong and she's trying to fight for her rights, her freedom and her family in this society. It’s impossible for her to be free, which is why she escapes into illness and why the opera is so powerful.

'Diseases such as cancer and mental illness will be a big problem in the next years in inconsequence of pandemic, and not only for grown-ups but particularly for children. We are still in this moment, but we can discuss it through theatre and opera and work together. It's an honour for me to be here. We can appreciate that we have kept our health and our lives, and have been able to get back to this point despite being in a pandemic. The world will change forever but I think we have learnt a lot during the last year.'

Lucia di Lammermoor press conference