Tragic Opera in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Text from Scott’s romance by Cammerano.
HENRY ASHTON, lord of Lammermoor, has discovered that his sister Lucia loves his mortal enemy Sir Edgar of Ravenswood. He confides to Lucia’s tutor Raymond that he is lost if Lucia does not marry another suitor of his (her brother’s) choice.
Lucia and Edgar meet in the park. Edgar tells her that he is about to leave Scotland for France in the service of his country. He wishes to be reconciled to his enemy Lord Ashton, for, though the latter has done him all kinds of evil, though he has slain his father and burned his castle, Edgar is willing to sacrifice his oath of vengeance to his love for Lucia. But the lady, full of evil forebodings, entreats him to wait and swears eternal fidelity to him. After having bound himself by a solemn oath, he leaves her half-distracted with grief.
In the second act Lord Ashton shows a forged letter to his sister, which goes to prove that her lover is false. Her brother now presses her more and more to wed his friend Arthur, Lord Bucklaw, declaring that he and his party are lost and that Arthur alone can save him from the executioner’s axe. At last, when even her tutor Raymond beseeches her to forget Edgar, and, like the others, believes him to be faithless, Lucia consents to the sacrifice. The wedding takes place in great haste, but just as Lucia has finished signing the marriage contract, Edgar enters to claim her as his own.
With grief and unbounded passion he now sees in his bride a traitress, and tearing his ring of betrothal from her finger, he throws it at her feet.
Henry, Arthur, and Raymond order the raving lover to leave the castle, and the act closes in the midst of confusion and despair.
The third act opens with Raymond’s announcement that Lucia has lost her reason and has killed her husband in the bridal room. Lucia herself enters to confirm his awful news ; she is still in bridal attire, and in her demented condition believes that Arthur will presently appear for the nuptial ceremony. Every-body is full of pity for her, and her brother repents his harshness too lateLucia is fast dying, and Eliza leads her away amid the lamentations of all present.
Edgar, hearing of these things while wandering amid the tombs of his ancestors, resolves to see Lucia once more. When dying she asks for him, but he comes too late. The funeral bells toll, and he stabs himself, praying to be united to his bride in heaven.