Lucia di Lammermoor is a dramma tragico (tragic opera) in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. For decades Lucia was considered to be a mere showpiece for coloratura sopranos and was a little-known part of the operatic repertory. Since 1950s, famous sopranos such as Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland revived the opera of its tragic glory.

Arias of Lucia are truly challenging for its technical and expressional difficulties. “Regnava nel Silenzio” is Lucia’s famous aria in Act 1 Scene 2. Lucia is waiting for Edgardo. She tells her maid Alisa she has seen the ghost of a girl killed on the very same spot by a jealous Ravenswood ancestor.

Now listen to the performance by Sutherland and Callas.

Joan Sutherland in 1959

Maria Callas in 1959

Sutherland is my favorite Lucia.

Lyrics in Italian

Regnava nel silenzio
alta la notte e bruna...
Colpia la fonte un pallido
raggio di tetra luna... .
Quando un sommesso gemito
fra l'aure udir si fe';
ed ecco au quel margin
ah! l'ombra mostrarsi a me.

Qual di chi parla,muoversi
il labbro suo vedea,
e con la mano esanime
chiamarmi a sè parea.
Stette un momento immobile,
poi rattab dileguò.
E l'onda, pria sì limpida,
di sangue rosseggiò.

Lyrics translation

The night,deep and dark,
reigned in the silence...
A pale ray from the gloomy moon
shone on the fountain..
When a low sigh
was heard throughout the air;
and there on the fountain's edge
the shadow appeared to me!

Her lips moved
as if speaking,
and with her lifeless hand
she seemed to call me.
She stood there, motionless,
then she suddenly disappeared.
And the water, earlier so limpid,
became as red as the blood.'
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