A decade after launching her career in Italy, acclaimed Australian coloratura soprano Jessica Pratt delivers her first performances in the title role of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at New York’s The Metropolitan Opera (The Met) this April.
The Australian-raised singer has cemented her place as one of the world’s leading exponents of Donizetti’s bloodied bride; one of the most notoriously difficult roles in the operatic canon. Since her role debut in 2007, Jessica has appeared in over 28 productions and sung the role more than 80 times. She remains one of only three Australians to sing Lucia di Lammermoor at La Scala alongside Dame Nellie Melba and Dame Joan Sutherland.
“I’m so excited to have the chance to perform Lucia di Lammermoor at the Metropolitan Opera,” says Pratt. “It is a wonderful theatre with an incredible history for being one of the top houses in the world. The orchestra and chorus are phenomenal and it’s a huge honour to perform here.”
After making her Met debut in December 2016 as The Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, this marks Jessica’s second production at the revered opera house. “I was thrilled to be invited to return in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor – a role that has been central to my career,” said Pratt. “I have performed Lucia all around the world from Europe to South America to Australia and this will be my debut in the role in the United States.
Working at The Met is extraordinary,” she continued. “I get to watch the greatest opera singers of today rehearsing and performing all week as there are so many productions being staged here. The other day I was practicing in my dressing room and emerged to find Placido Domingo standing by the door; he shared such kind words and said he will come to see me for my first performance! Having been supported by Placido as a young singer through Operalia, his world opera competition, the experience is made all the more special.”
On this production of Lucia di Lammermoor, Pratt said “I have collaborated with Maestro Roberto Abbado several times on various bel canto operas over the last few years and really enjoy performing with him; this will be our third Lucia together after Paris and Rome. I also revisit this beautiful production by Mary Zimmermann, which I last performed at La Scala in Milan in 2014 and I’m enjoying the chance to work with her again.”
Pratt returns to Australia in June for her Opera Australia and Sydney Opera House debut as Lucia di Lammermoor, followed by a concert performance of Bellini’s The Capulets and the Montagues for Victorian Opera in September.
Image: Jessica Pratt in New York – photo by © Marco GMS Photography