Written September 18, 2014
Both Elizabeth and Mary were beautifully sung and expertly acted, as were Leicester, Cecil and, especially Talbot. The production is traditional, but didn't interfere with the singers' presentations. Chorus and orchestra were especially outstanding. See it at the encore or when it comes out (as I'm sure it will) on DVD.
Written November 26, 2014
This LIVE in HD performance broadcast from New York City was BEAUTIFULLY done. The principal characters--especially the two females--were exquisite!!! I loved the set design and costuming choices and IF YOU'VE NEVER ATTENDED a LIVE in HD broadcast or Encore! performance--DO IT!!! Part of the beauty of the experience are the interviews that occur/are shown during Intermission. It helps so much to understand and appreciate the FULL depth and breadth of the production and performance decisions.
This is a lovely opera, and this performance of it is Top Notch!!! SEE IT!!! (I think I'm going to attend the Encore! because the original was so great!!!)
Written November 30, 2014
It was an unexpectedly overwhelming experience. The voices, the acting the sets, and even the fictionlized history of Mary Stuart and Elizabeth Tudor were incredibly moving.Joyce di Donato is already a national treasure. I'm enjoying the simulcasts more than the live performnces.
Written September 22, 2014
The Metropolitan Opera's magnificent portrayal of Maria Stuarda not only awakens our curiosity, and the scholarly intrigue, about the Elizabethan era of the late 16th century. It also, by the superb performance of Joyce DiDonato in the role of Mary Stuart, creates a new reality in our perspective on that crucial time. In the final scene, Mary actually forgives the Queen for sentencing her to death, beseeching the Almighty not to let Elizabeth's terrible deed interfere with the success of the Queen, and thus the forward movement of the Empire. Now that's quite an act, for which Mary exceeds even her most revered predecessors among Christian martyrs. What Mary does goes beyond conventional heroism to stake out a new territory in dramatic, operatic art. Unbelievable!
The portrayal of Queen Elizabeth is also unique, although somewhat mystifying. Elizabeth -- the originator of the Elizabethan Compromise -- is cast by Donizetti as evil. That's something to ponder, in our own time.
Written January 22, 2013
Seeing Maria Stuarda in HD was an experience which moved me as well as entertained and educated me. I did read about the story before I got to the theater, so I was somewhat prepared for the sequence of events. However, the honesty of the singing and acting propelled the drama into an interactive mode.
This is a great way to experience opera and be so involved in the piece. The close-ups of the singers, the gorgeous costumes, the interviews with the performers and the local accessibility made this a great experience for me! I have seen many operas live, and I will continue to do so. However, I love the HD broadcasts where I can have the best seat in the house for a fraction of the cost and at my local theater!