Written August 22, 2014
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.
Written February 18, 2013
This is a very enjoyable opera of the Queen Elizabeth and Mary story. The two female lead singers Elza van den Heever as Elizabeth and Joyce DiDonato as Mary are superb. The rest of the cast are also excellent. Production values are up to the usual Met polish.
Written January 21, 2013
As a fan of Joyce DiDonato, I was eager to see this opera, and was not disappointed. Her portrayal of exiled queen Mary of Scots was poignant, regal, determined, forgiving. Queen Elizabeth was not quite the villain, but never a sympathetic character. The camera work was revealing but not intrusive; e.g., Elizabeth's hand motion of the flourish under her signature, and her sealing with her signet ring. I wonder whether the in-house audience was able to see them. In a concert hall, it is not possible to see the facial expressions that are so evident on camera. I especially like the backstage interviews with the principals. It was obvious that the movie-house audience felt connected to the stage action because there was applause after arias and at the end. This was our third opera in HD, and I continue to recommend the experience. I am looking forward to future productions.
Written July 26, 2014
It was wonderful and the singing was sublime.
Written January 20, 2013
This is one of the best productions the Met has done in years. The cast is outstanding vocally and dramatically. DiDonato is one of the most fantastic artists of any age.