Catching the Met Encore of Roberto Devereux

Caught the Metropolitan Opera’s encore streaming of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux last weekend at the Sydney Dendy Opera Quay movie theatre. It’s the third of Donizetti’s queen opera series, beginning with Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda.

The Met’s put together a stellar cast: Elina Garanca as Sara the Duchess of Nottingham, Mariusz Kwiecien as the Duke of Nottingham, Matthew Polenzani as the Earl of Essex, and Sondra Radvanosky as Queen Elizabeth. This past season, Sondra Radvanosky sang all three queen roles, a major coup for her.

I wasn’t that big a fan of her singing as Queen Elizabeth however, though I think that was in part colored by the way she was directed to portray Queen Elizabeth – as a tottering royal near the end of her life who is consumed by jealousy over Earl of Essex’s love for the Duchess of Nottingham. In the opera, Elizabeth condemns the Earl to death primarily for that reason, and not so much for his failed rebellion. That depiction didn’t sit quite well with me, although from the applause in the audience in the cinema, people loved the performance.

Ah well. It was still rather nice to be transported back to the Metropolitan Opera house. I miss watching the opera series, there and in Chicago.

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