Maria Stuarda

Opera abridged for Young Audience
Composer: Gaetano Donizetti | Librettist: Giuseppe Bardari | Original Author: Friedrich Schiller

Group tickets are offered to secondary student groups only.
To order, visit here.

Run time: Approx. 1 hr 10 mins
Language: Italian (with Cantonese narration) | Surtitle: Chinese / English

The production will be presented under the title ‘Maria Stuarda’ (Mary Stuart), a tragic opera in two acts, with music by Gaetano Donizetti (1797 – 1848), set to a libretto by Giuseppe Bardari, based on Andrea Maffei’s translation of Friedrich Schiller’s 1800 play Maria Stuart.

The performance is meticulously crafted by the art group’s director Professor Lo King-man, who handpicked the most spectacular numbers and rearranged them into a series of dramatic singing scenes. The scenes are linked together with brief narratives spoken by an actor in the guise of the original author, Friedrich Schiller, who personally walks the audience through this story about the power struggle at the English imperial court.


Queen Mary I is imprisoned in England – nominally for the murder of her husband, but actually due to her adamant assertion as the rightful heir to the English throne. She is the prime suspect for plotting to assassinate Elizabeth I, the Queen of England. Elizabeth is the cousin of Mary. She is hesitant about executing Mary. Pleading for pardon, Mary writes a letter to Elizabeth and sends it through the Earl of Leicester.

This is a delicate situation because the Earl of Leicester is in love with Mary while Elizabeth sees him as a potential partner for marriage proposal. He nevertheless helps to arrange a meeting (which did not happen in history, but is an important turning point in Schiller’s original play). The meeting ends in an acrimonious quarrel, caused by Mary’s unwillingness to submit entirely to Elizabeth’s wishes. The situation becomes much more complicated.

Convinced by her Chancellor, Lord Cecil, that to safeguard the stability of the English throne, Elizabeth must sign Mary’s death warrant. She does so, claiming that it is a decision based on the expectations of her subjects. Mary’s death sentence is confirmed by Cecil, and Leicester is ordered to witness the execution. Mary goes to the block, accepting her fate to die as a victim of power struggle between the two monarchs.


₍₁₎ 26/4, 11am | ₍₂₎ 26/4, 3pm | ₍₃₎ 27/4, 11am | ₍₄₎ 27/4, 3pm

Creative Team

* By kind permission of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

Pre-Performance Talk

Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students

The Charm of Performing Arts

The arts bring to students experiences that connect life inside and outside the campus.

When textual narrative turns into live performance, lines, movements, lightings and shades on stage cast a spell of charm on the audience. This magical power created by stage performance calls for rumination and reflection, leaving the audience with sentiments of gratification when the curtain falls.

In fact, these arts groups don’t just perform. Their artists will also move downstage to share their creative process as well as the concept and structure of their works at pre/post-performance discussions and workshops, and share with participants on a wide range of topics from the history of drama to the symbolic meaning of a certain prop. These extension activities will reveal to students the flow of stage production and the many facets of performing arts.

Live performance exudes unparalleled charm in the eye of the audience, and gives artists a sense of fulfillment when they engage their audience and receive their warm applause. We believe that engaging in performing arts will bring enlightening experiences to audience and performers alike, and make them more understanding towards others and curious about life. We therefore look forward to the continuous support of principals and teachers to the Scheme. Let’s work together to enrich the arts experience of students and nurture young theatregoers.

* Since Audience Building Office (AB Office) under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD)’s inception in the 2009/10 academic year, the Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students by has been providing Other Learning Experiences in Aesthetic Development under the New Senior Secondary School Curriculum and encouraging personal visits to professional performing venues as well as immersion in the arts for enrichment of learning experience.
* Acknowledgement: The Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students is supported by the Education Bureau.