The opera we watched


Y
esterday afternoon, Ron took me to see “Lucia Di Lammermoor” at the National Theater (國家戲劇院) — the first production of the opera in Taiwan. It was a great experience, watching an opera set in Scotland by a Italian composer performed by Taiwanese opera singers (and a Korean soprano, who sang the title role). For more about the opera and this production, check out my colleague Bradley’s very informative article.

National Theater (國家戲劇院) interior

National Theater (國家戲劇院)

The subtitles were in Chinese and I was afraid I would not be able to read them quickly enough to understand the storyline. It turned out to be OK. The singing, of course, draws each line out and it’s not like “Lucia Di Lammermoor” has a lot of subtle plot twists or delicate allegorical nuances. Basically, Lucia’s brother plots to marry her to a political ally by telling her that her true love, Edgardo, has been unfaithful to her. Lucia submits, but goes mad. Fake blood ensues, as Lucia kills her new husband and herself, before Edgardo finds out and stabs himself at her funeral. I saw some potentially useful phrases in the subtitles, including “以鮮血洗雪” (yǐ xiān​xiě xǐ ​xuě​), which basically means “wash the snow with fresh blood.” I imagine that is early 19th-century Italian opera vernacular for “wipe the floor with his ass.”

After the performance, we saw a giant wall of live orchids in the lobby. It was amazing.

Orchid wall

Here’s a terrible photo of me harassing a poor blossom.

Harassing an orchid

“Lucia Di Lammermoor” only ran for a few days — Ron and I actually caught the last performance. The National Theater and National Concert Hall have a full roster of classical music and opera performances, however, and ticket prices aren’t that expensive. Check out their program here.