Wednesday, January 16, 2013

“Mary Stuarda”

Met opera in HD about Queen of Scots


By EXPRESS STAFF

Joyce DiDonato takes on Mary, Queen of Scots, in the opera “Mary Stuarda.” Courtesy photo

    Singer Joyce DiDonato takes on the bel canto role of the doomed Mary, Queen of Scots in the opera “Mary Stuarda,” playing Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Big Wood Cinema 4 in Hailey.
    The New York Times states, “Ms. DiDonato’s performance will be pointed to as a model of singing in which all components of the art form—technique, sound, color, nuance, diction—come together in service to expression and eloquence.”
    The opera, sponsored by Sun Valley Opera, will be broadcast live in HD from the New York Metropolitan Opera and begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Bigwood Cinema in Hailey. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and Dick Brown will give a 20-minute lecture before the opera begins on bel canto.
    Maria Stuarda (Mary Stuart) is a tragic opera in two acts, by Gaetano Donizetti, and is based on Andrea Maffei‘s translation of Friedrich Schiller’s 1800 play Maria Stuart. The story is loosely based on the lives of Mary, Queen of Scots (Mary Stuart) and her cousin Queen Elizabeth I. Schiller had invented the confrontation of the two queens, who in fact never met.
    In the opera Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, has been forced to abdicate and flee her kingdom.  She has sought asylum from her cousin, Queen Elizabeth.
    The Catholic Mary’s presence in Protestant England is untenable to Elizabeth, who has kept her cousin imprisoned for many years, while the English Catholics see Mary as the rightful heir to the crown.
    The libretto adds the love story of Mary Stuart and Robert Dudley, first Earl of Leicester, which also has no basis in fact. At the time of the events portrayed, Dudley was actually 55, Elizabeth was 53 and Mary was 44.
    Maria Stuarda is one of a number of operas by Donizetti which deal with the Tudor period in English history, including Anna Bolena (named for Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn), Roberto Devereux (named for a putative lover of Queen Elizabeth I of England) and Il castello di Kenilworth. The lead female characters of the operas Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and Roberto Devereux are often referred to as the “Three Donizetti Queens.”
    The opera will last for a little more than three hours. Tickets can be purchased at the theater box office in Hailey in advance or on the day of the opera. General Admission tickets are $22; seniors, $20, and students, $18. For more information contact 578-0971.




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