16:56 An insane role insanely sung by the queen of mad scenes. No one has ever sung a better Lucia. She uses constant dynamics to represent Lucia’s state of mind, creating a dwindling effect with every dynamic variation. An entrapment between madness and sanity. She even changes the dynamics of the staccati. Each one representing an individual opinion, a voice in her head. Some are nearer while others are far away. All acting of Lucia in the mad scene should be executed with the voice. The stage movement should be minimal. She is not talking to the people around her, she is talking to the voices in her head. And the messa di voce at the end of the cadenza infuses more into Lucia’s psyche than entire performances of other famous Lucias. It is a thread of a voice that is slipping away from her. It is incredibly difficult and tiring to sing this way. It requires perfect intonation and breath control. One mistake, and the entire performance becomes a farce. I don’t know how she made it to the last Eb6 at the end of “Spargi d’amaro pianto”, and she does a petite crescendo on it, too. Lucia’s final scream before she is irreversibly mad. The harm is done. Zefirelli once remarked that Lucia was a “murdering bitch”, therefore should be represented as such (If memory serves me right, he said this while he was tutoring Sutherland for the role). Callas is the only one who made me think that Lucia was probably the victim of marital rape, among other abuses. She could have killed all the characters, and still would be the victim.