An imagined meeting between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots is at the heart of a Tudor-themed trilogy by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti to be staged by Welsh National Opera in Southampton.
Anna Bolena will be performed at the Mayflower Theatre on Wednesday, November 27, followed by Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereux on successive days. All three are to be sung in the original Italian with English surtitles provided.
WNO’s Mayflower week will be topped and tailed by performances of Michael Blakemore’s famous production of Puccini’s Tosca, also sung in Italian and surtitled, on the Tuesday and Saturday (November 26 and 30).
The Tudor operas, being staged together in Britain for the first time, feature conspiracies of courtiers with hidden agendas, future queens waiting in the wings, kings for whom no is not an answer, and love shattered by the march of history.
Donizetti re-tells some of the most powerful episodes in Britain’s past with dramatic music, capturing surprise twists among the predicaments and intrigues of the Tudor court.
Together the three works make up a potent sweep of historical drama, brought to life by an international team of soloists with WNO’s famously world-class chorus and orchestra, but each opera is a complete experience and can be enjoyed on its own.
All three operas will be staged on a single epic set, with costumes designed to evoke the period but with a modern twist.
Tickets: £7.50 to £40. Concessions are available for seats booked for more than one opera in the Tudor trilogy – but only if bought through the Mayflower in person, by post or on (023) 8071 1811. Tickets for individual operas are also available at mayflower.org.uk. All performances are at 7.15pm except Anna Bolena which begins at 7pm.