Maria Stuarda (concert version)


Gaetano Donizetti (1797 - 1848)

Concert version
Oper in two acts; Libretto by Giuseppe Bardari, based on Friedrich Schiller's „Maria Stuart“; First performance on 30th December 1835 at Teatro alla Scala in Milan; Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 4th June 2014

In Italian language with German and English surtitels

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Cast

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Cast

Conductor Paolo Arrivabeni
Chorus-Master William Spaulding
Maria Stuarda Joyce DiDonato
Elisabetta I. Carmen Giannattasio
Graf Leicester Joseph Calleja
Georg Talbot Marko Mimica
Sir William Cecil Davide Luciano
Anna Kennedy Christina Sidak
Chorus Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Orchestra Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
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Information

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Information

In the years of the “Risorgimento”, the Italian independence movement in the first half of the 19th century, the idea of an opera being banned because of the effect it had on the public hardly raised an eyebrow. Just as Giuseppe Verdi often had to deal with the demands of a narrow-minded Office of Censorship, so Gaetano Donizetti, 16 years his senior, was dogged by the same problems. His opera MARIA STUARDA, based on Friedrich Schiller's “Maria Stuart”, was particularly subject to the attention of the censor. The story goes that the Queen of the two Sicilies, Maria Christina of Naples, attending a performance of the opera, was so affected by the confession scene at the end of the last act that she fainted, leading to the summary banning of the work. Even if the tale is no more than a legend – and a clever one at that – the opera's story-line is no less emotive and delicate for it. A queen who is executed at the end of the story was not considered an appropriate figure for an opera heroine in a country struggling desperately to achieve national unity while suffering occupation by one foreign country after another. Donizetti reworked his opera from scratch but still witnessed it failing to ignite the public. Over a year later, in December 1835, MARIA STUARDA premiered at the Scala, Milan, in the original version – to equally poor reception. Not until the end of the 1950s was MARIA STUARDA rediscovered.

Ever since then, prima donnas such as Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballé, Edita Gruberova and Janet Baker have played their part in establishing the opera as an outstanding example of bel canto. In the concert performances of the work at the Deutsche Oper Berlin Joyce DiDonato, fresh from her triumphant turn as Mary Stuart at the New York Metropolitan Opera, will sing the title role.

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Accompanying Programme

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Accompanying Programme

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance