The origins of Lucia di Lammermoor's cadenza

  title={The origins of Lucia di Lammermoor's cadenza},
  author={Romana Margherita Pugliese},
  journal={Cambridge Opera Journal},
  pages={23 - 42}
This article addresses the long-controversial dating of the cadenza with flute in the mad scene of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. New manuscript sources indicate that the famous cadenza dates not from the first half of the nineteenth century, as musicologists had assumed, but from 1889, when it was added to the opera for Nelly Melba’s performances at the Palais Garnier, Paris. The cadenza was most likely composed by Melba’s teacher Mathilde Marchesi to showcase the light voice and virtuosic… 

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This passage dates from 1888, the year before Melba's memorable unveiling of the cadenza with flute at the Opéra Garnier

    Compositeurs célèbres (Paris, 1888), 180-1. The soprano léger is also the soprano aigu; she is the singer of roulades, of fioriture, of delicate staccati, of cadenzas, of vocalises

    • Ophélie in Hamlet (Thomas)

    Bizet, departing from Scott's novel, introduces a mad scene that gives the protagonist the opportunity to exhibit her graceful soprano leggero talent