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 April 26, 2015
Voight was a most gracious host and asked some very interesting questions which she could
bring due to her experiences.
DiDonato was an exceptional Mary singing the role with overwhelming feeling just beautifully!
She brought such a power to the part with her rich voice and interpretation.
van den Heever played and sang Elizabeth with surprising warmth and yet a coldness that was necessary to the part.
Even the 3 men were excellent in their singing.
4 of us were deeply moved by this most dramatic opera. This performance was SUPERB!
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 January 30, 2015
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.