Two Queens. One Catholic and Scottish, one Protestant and English. One in prison at the other’s behest. A man between them balancing loyalty and love.
Donizetti’s magnificent lyrical opera, Maria Stuarda stars internationally renowned mezzo soprano Tara Erraught in the title role, with soprano Anna Devin as Elisabetta. More familiar as the Tudor dynasty’s Queen Elizabeth 1 and Mary Queen of Scots, we join the action when Maria is fighting for survival, held captive and in fear of her life. Elisabetta, threatened by her very existence, identifies Maria as a clear political threat and a romantic rival. But just how far will Elisabetta go to hold onto her throne and to the affections of Leicester?
Irish National Opera’s artistic director Fergus Sheil conducts Donizetti’s momentous score, replete with lyrical arias, dramatic duets and rousing choruses. Director Tom Creed’s new staging of Maria Stuarda keeps the audience on the edge of their seat as the deadly power struggle builds vividly to a climax.
Tenor Arthur Espiritu is Leicester, in love with Maria and advisor to Elisabetta, Irish mezzo soprano Gemma Ní Bhriain is Maria’s companion Anna, baritone Giorgio Caoduro is Cecil and bass Callum Thorpe is Talbot. Soprano Amy Ní Fhearraigh sings Elisabetta on 7 June. Set and costume design is by Katie Davenport and lighting design is by Sinéad McKenna.
Maria Stuarda is sung in Italian with English surtitles.
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