The Met has a great production of this jewel of Donizetti's 3 Queens Trilogy: Maria Stuarda. With Joyce DiDonato in the lead role, students of bel canto have a textbook performance to revel in. That remarkable voice, aiding her deeply felt vocal acting became even more obvious when seen in the HD broadcast, with its constant closeups allowing any of us in the theater to be one with each performer.

I admit being biased when it comes to Donizetti and his operas ---and Maria Stuarda in particular. Dame Janet Baker's performances in English closed her stage career in Britain 30 years ago; that legendary performance has for me been the standard of comparison that has never been rivaled --including Beverly Sill's 1977 performance. That is until now: DiDonato has it all, and gave it all. I can only hope that she has a long and splendid career ahead of her.