Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Battle of the Opera Queens at the MET "Live in HD" this Saturday!

If you were going to pick only 1 MET "Live in HD" broadcast to see this season,
this weekend's premiere production of Maria Stuarda would be the heavy favorite.

The central chapter in Donizetti's trilogy of operatic "Tudor Queens," Maria Stuarda has one of the most famously explosive scenes in all of opera. It is unbelievable this 1835 musical drama is not reaching the Met stage until 2013. We are lucky to have the chance to experience this gripping historical character drama Saturday, January 19, at 12:55 pm, in the Whitman Auditorium of Virginia Western Community College.

Come early, at 12:30 for an "opera insights" talk to learn more about Donizetti's scandalous opera. The plot centers on an imagined confrontation between the imprisoned Catholic monarch, Mary Stuart (Queen of Scots) and England's protestant Queen Elizabeth. This infamous scene climaxes with Mary hurling imprecations at Elisabeth, calling her "figlia impura di Bolena" ("impure daughter of Anne Boleyn") and "vil bastarda" ("vile whore"). This scene was so contentious that not only did the King of Naples ban its performance, but the two prima donnas singing the Queens literally got into fights during rehearsals.

The Met's new production features the world's leading mezzo-soprano, Kansas native Joyce DiDonato as Mary Stuart. Rising South African star soprano, Elza van den Heever makes an acclaimed Met debut as Elisabeth.

If you come early, you'll have a chance to hear local star, Amy Cofield talk about her experiences working with Joyce DiDonato at Houston Grand Opera.

This is romantic opera at its finest - great singers bringing great characters to life through the inimitable medium of opera. As we like to say around Opera Roanoke, come hear the drama and see the music!

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