Following the production of Faust which opened the season at Romes opera house to mixed reviews, its the turn of Donizettis Lucia di Lammermoor (21 Feb-4 March). This production was first staged in Florence in 1996 under the direction of Graham Vick, only to return there two years later. It was well received by the Florentine public because the staging, although modern, brought out the romanticism of the opera thanks to clever lighting and striking visual elements. During its run in Rome soprano Eva Mei will play the part of the protagonist. She has an attractive voice and graceful phrasing and has been a fixture on the Italian stage in recent months, with successes including Idomeneo in Ancona, Thais in Venice and La Sonnambula in Parma. The role of her lover Edgardo goes to tenor Fabio Sartori who, when he sings softly and roundly, achieves good results. In some performances (22 and 27 Feb, 2 March), the lead parts will be played by Tito Beltran (Edgardo) and Sumi Jo (Lucia). Last year at the Accademia di S. Cecilia in Rome, Jo thrilled audiences with Zerbinettas vertiginous and extremely difficult aria from Ariadne auf Naxos by Strauss. The conductor will be Daniel Oren, who has given a passionate and highly romantic interpretation of this opera in the past.