Musica Viva presents the opera Maria Stuarda, a lyric tragedy by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) with the libretto by Giuseppe Bardari (1817－1861). Four performances of this opera will be staged on 9-11 December 2022 at the Concert Hall of Hong Kong City Hall.
Fascinated by the history of England during the Tudor era (1485-1603), Donizetti wrote three operas revolving around the three queens, including Anna Bolena (1830), Maria Stuarda (1835), and Roberto Devereux (1837).
Maria Stuarda is loosely based on the story of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England and Ireland. In the late 16th century, Mary is imprisoned in England for being accused of taking part in the murder of her husband Lord Darnley. She was also the prime suspect for plotting the assassination of Elizabeth I, whose right to the throne of England was questioned by the Catholics in England. In the opera, Elizabeth favours Robert, the Earl of Leicester, who happens to be in love with Mary. Elizabeth agrees to meet with Mary during a hunt as proposed by Leicester. However, her jealousy and anger grow ever stronger when Leicester pleads for Mary’s freedom. The meeting of the two queens ends in an acrimonious quarrel. To safeguard the stability of the English throne, what would Elizabeth do? Can Mary escape from the fate of blood spilling?
Maria Stuarda premiered in 1835 at La Scala, Milan. The work was ignored not long after its premiere due to political censorship at the time. In the mid-20th century, it was revived in Bergamo, Italy. The opera was once staged in Hong Kong back in 1986 and this year’s revival of the opera will be presented in celebration of Hong Kong City Hall’s 60th Anniversary.
Musica Viva is excited to bring back this rare work to the stage in Hong Kong. This production will be produced and directed by Prof Lo Kingman. Maestro Wilson Ng will join Musica Viva for his second production with the company. This production is supported by an all-native creative team, including set designer Isaac Wong, costume designer Andrew Cheung, and lighting designer Zoe Cheung.
Six overseas singers will take on the roles of the three protagonists in the opera. The martyred Maria will be performed by sopranos Meryl Dominguez and Lee Sang-eun, while mezzo-sopranos Hilary Ginther and Anna Laurenzo will sing the role of the raging Elisabetta. Tenors Todd Wilander and Matteo Mezzaro will share the role of the noble Leicester. The international casts are joined by prominent local singers, starring baritones Sammy Chien and Frankie Fung as Talbot, baritones Michael Lam and Isaac Droscha as Lord Cecil, rounded off with sopranos Kenix Tsang and Colette Lam as Maria’s companion Anna.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- For more details about the programme, cast, and various discount schemes, please refer to the programme leaflet or visit the following website: musicavivahk.org
- For interview requests, media, and press-related enquiries, please contact Terry Lee by email at email@example.com or by phone at 6976 2877.
Opera: Maria Stuarda
A tragic opera in 2 acts performed in Italian with Chinese & English surtitles
Date & Time:
- 9/12, 7:30 pm
- 10/12, 2:30 pm
- 10/12, 7:30 pm
- 11/12, 2:30 pm
Venue: Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall
Ticket Price: $680, $490, $350, $180
Tickets available at Urbtix NOW.