Donizetti: Maria Stuarda
Mariella Devi, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Francesco Meli, Simone Alberghini, Piero Terranova, Paola Gardina, Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala, Antonino Fogliani - Conductor
Often overshadowed by its contemporary Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti's Maria Stuarda is given a fresh new staging with traditional costumes and wonderful singers. Maria Stuarda could be the most unlucky opera in history since it was banned on its opening night, supressed due to it's beheading of a Catholic monarch, and immortaly stained due to the stories of rival leading sopranos who fought and cursed on stage. The opera had been mired in mystery for years as Donizetti's autograph score had been lost, and the holes in the opera were always filled with msuic from other Donizetti works. In the late 1980's the autograph score was re-discovered, and since, Maria Stuarda has been getting regular performances, including a may 2010 performance at the Canadian Opera Company. This DVD reprsents the best of the performances on DVD, with Mariella Devia and Anna Caterina Antonacci playing Mary Stuart and Elizabeth I respectively. They deliver passionate performances, and give an excellennt 'confrontation' scene. Francesco Meli is given the difficult task of playing Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, which is a bit of an odd tenor role. The music is fine, but the character istelf is seen very weak compared to the two strong women, and he is easily manipulated by the two. Meli sings very well, and except for a bit of a crack on one high note, give a great portrayal. The rest of the cast, chorus, and orcehstra make this La Scala prodcution the best Maria Stuarda DVD, period.