Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Mary Stuart)

This page lists all recordings of Maria Stuarda (Mary Stuart), by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) on CD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013


Joyce DiDonato (Maria Stuarda), Elza van den Heever (Elisabetta), Matthew Rose (Talbot), Joshua Hopkins (Cecil), Matthew Polenzani (Leicester), Maria Zifchak (Anna Kennedy)

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Maurizio Benini

Joyce DiDonato talks to Presto's Katherine Cooper about singing Maria Stuarda here.

On New Year’s Eve 2012 Joyce DiDonato became the first singer to take the title role in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. With her at its heart, the production became, in the words of Opera magazine, “a high point of the season and of the company’s performance history of bel canto operas”.

New Year’s Eve 2012 brought the first-ever performance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, famed for its incendiary – if fictional – confrontation between Mary Stuart (Mary, Queen of Scots) and Queen Elizabeth I of England.

As the New York Times wrote: “The production stars the great American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in the title role ... [Her] performance will be pointed to as a model of singing in which all components of the art form – technique, sound, color, nuance, diction – come together in service to expression and eloquence.” The performance on this DVD took place on January 19th 2013 and was broadcast to cinemas around the world.

Based on a play by Friedrich Schiller, Maria Stuarda achieved new currency in the 1960s, and the title role has attracted such legendary singers as Joan Sutherland, Leyla Gencer, Beverley Sills and Janet Baker. “To have brought this character to life at the Metropolitan Opera for the first time in its history is an incredible privilege,” said Joyce DiDonato. “It is a role that has been inhabited by the best of the best – each star singer bringing a completely different set of strengths to her treacherous phrases and her dramatic journey. To have had the chance to put my stamp on her with such a supportive team will, I’m certain, always remain a career highlight for me.”

Opera magazine duly described DiDonato’s “glowingly-sung, fully-formed portrayal” as “a high point of the season and of the company’s performance history of bel canto operas”.

Directing the production, with its striking use of vivid colors and stark imagery, was David McVicar, and Maurizio Benini conducted a cast that also featured the imposing South African soprano Elza van den Heever, making her Met debut as – again in the words of the New York Times – “a vocally burnished and emotionally tempestuous Elizabeth ... Her voice has penetrating depth and character. She turns flights of coloratura passagework into bursts of jealousy and defiance as Elizabeth contends with the threat that Mary, a blood relative, poses to her reign in England.” As the Earl of Leicester, caught between the rival queens, American tenor Matthew Polenzani brought “melting sound and appealing vulnerability to the role”.

The magnificent final scene of the opera sees Mary preparing for her execution. “What can be said about the final 20 minutes of this opera?” asks Joyce DiDonato. “It is like being shot out of a cannon and there is no slowing down or adjusting along the way. Mary is certainly terrified and yet she manages to find a deep reservoir of determination and fortitude that enables her to climb to her death. She has finally found her peace.”

Production: David McVicar

Set & Costume Designer: John Macfarlane / Lighting Designed by Jennifer Tipton / Choreographer: Leah Hausman

A Metropolitan Opera High-Definition Production

Director: Gary Halvorson / Music Producer: Jay David Saks / Executive Producer: Peter Gelb

Supervising Producers: Mia Bongiovanni, Elena Park

Producers: Louisa Briccetti, Victoria Warivonchik

Host: Deborah Voigt

Stereo PCM 2.0 / Dolby Digital 5.1

Act 1: 73 min / Act 2: 69 min

+15 min interview (Backstage at the MET)

Menu: GB / Subtitles: GB, FR, DE, IT, ES / Sung in Italian

“handsomely designed...well acted and strongly sung. Elza van der Heever delivers a statuesque Elizabeth, if with tomboyish tendencies...DiDonato offers a physically plain, emotionally determined martyr-monarch, her singing closely and impressively aligned with the character's emotional journey...Benini rises above routine to bring flexibility to his conducting.” BBC Music Magazine ***

“One might have guessed that she could sing this demandingly florid and intensely lyrical music with crystalline Italian diction, impeccable technical security and dazzling stylistic finesse, but the fierce ardent passion she brings might surprise those who have only heard her in lighter histrionic fare. Even those with indelible memories of Janet Baker in this part will be blown away.” The Telegraph, 10th July 2014 *****

“Elza van der Heever is quite brilliant as she moves from skittish to jealous, contemptuous and baleful. The three men are all good...DiDonato is an absolute knock-out...spellbinding through a perfect combination of singing and acting. Maurizio Benini conducts impeccably.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2014

“The mezzo might not have the optimal luxury of tone for the role but she more than compensates with the most vocally adept and dramatically detailed performance. Her coloratura is always meaningful (as well as pinpoint accurate) and her sense of line immaculate...Benini conducts idiomatically and David McVicar’s large-scale but simple production is effective.” Opera Now *****

“Scotland really did fire the imagination of the great bel canto composers, and though it's about as historically accurate as The Tudors, Donizetti's treatment of the final days of Mary Queen of Scots is a masterpiece of the genre, seen in here a 2013 Met production with a fine sense of local colour by the Scottish director David McVicar. Joyce DiDonato is the doomed queen, with Elza ven der Heever as her rival Elizabeth I; Maurizio Benini conducts.” David Smith, Presto Classical

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2014

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Erato - 2564632035

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$15.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda


Laura Polverelli, Maria Pia Piscitelli, Giovanna Lanza, Roberto De Biasio, Simone Alberghini & Mario Cassi

FORM – Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana & Coro Lirico Marchigiano ‘V. Bellini’, Riccardo Frizza

In Donizetti’s opera Maria Stuarda the rôles of the doomed queen and her cousin, Elizabeth I, have been taken by some of the greatest divas, from Malibran to Gruberova and Tosi to Baltsa, each revelling in the high drama of their tragically linked fates.

“...this new recording presents us very much with an ensemble performance... no one is allowed to do anything notably showy or scene-stealing...Riccardo Frizza drives the first two acts onwards with furious momentum” The Guardian, 7th January 2010 ***

Naxos Opera Classics - 8660261-62

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.50

(also available to download from $14.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013


Joyce DiDonato (Maria Stuarda), Elza van den Heever (Elisabetta), Matthew Rose (Talbot), Joshua Hopkins (Cecil), Matthew Polenzani (Leicester), Maria Zifchak (Anna Kennedy)

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Maurizio Benini

Joyce DiDonato talks to Presto's Katherine Cooper about singing Maria Stuarda here.

On New Year’s Eve 2012 Joyce DiDonato became the first singer to take the title role in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. With her at its heart, the production became, in the words of Opera magazine, “a high point of the season and of the company’s performance history of bel canto operas”.

New Year’s Eve 2012 brought the first-ever performance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, famed for its incendiary – if fictional – confrontation between Mary Stuart (Mary, Queen of Scots) and Queen Elizabeth I of England.

As the New York Times wrote: “The production stars the great American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in the title role ... [Her] performance will be pointed to as a model of singing in which all components of the art form – technique, sound, color, nuance, diction – come together in service to expression and eloquence.” The performance on this DVD took place on January 19th 2013 and was broadcast to cinemas around the world.

Based on a play by Friedrich Schiller, Maria Stuarda achieved new currency in the 1960s, and the title role has attracted such legendary singers as Joan Sutherland, Leyla Gencer, Beverley Sills and Janet Baker. “To have brought this character to life at the Metropolitan Opera for the first time in its history is an incredible privilege,” said Joyce DiDonato. “It is a role that has been inhabited by the best of the best – each star singer bringing a completely different set of strengths to her treacherous phrases and her dramatic journey. To have had the chance to put my stamp on her with such a supportive team will, I’m certain, always remain a career highlight for me.”

Opera magazine duly described DiDonato’s “glowingly-sung, fully-formed portrayal” as “a high point of the season and of the company’s performance history of bel canto operas”.

Directing the production, with its striking use of vivid colors and stark imagery, was David McVicar, and Maurizio Benini conducted a cast that also featured the imposing South African soprano Elza van den Heever, making her Met debut as – again in the words of the New York Times – “a vocally burnished and emotionally tempestuous Elizabeth ... Her voice has penetrating depth and character. She turns flights of coloratura passagework into bursts of jealousy and defiance as Elizabeth contends with the threat that Mary, a blood relative, poses to her reign in England.” As the Earl of Leicester, caught between the rival queens, American tenor Matthew Polenzani brought “melting sound and appealing vulnerability to the role”.

The magnificent final scene of the opera sees Mary preparing for her execution. “What can be said about the final 20 minutes of this opera?” asks Joyce DiDonato. “It is like being shot out of a cannon and there is no slowing down or adjusting along the way. Mary is certainly terrified and yet she manages to find a deep reservoir of determination and fortitude that enables her to climb to her death. She has finally found her peace.”

Production: David McVicar

Set & Costume Designer: John Macfarlane / Lighting Designed by Jennifer Tipton / Choreographer: Leah Hausman

A Metropolitan Opera High-Definition Production

“The mezzo might not have the optimal luxury of tone for the role but she more than compensates with the most vocally adept and dramatically detailed performance. Her coloratura is always meaningful (as well as pinpoint accurate) and her sense of line immaculate...Benini conducts idiomatically and David McVicar’s large-scale but simple production is effective.” Opera Now *****

“Scotland really did fire the imagination of the great bel canto composers, and though it's about as historically accurate as The Tudors, Donizetti's treatment of the final days of Mary Queen of Scots is a masterpiece of the genre, seen in here a 2013 Met production with a fine sense of local colour by the Scottish director David McVicar. Joyce DiDonato is the doomed queen, with Elza ven der Heever as her rival Elizabeth I; Maurizio Benini conducts.” David Smith, Presto Classical

“One might have guessed that she could sing this demandingly florid and intensely lyrical music with crystalline Italian diction, impeccable technical security and dazzling stylistic finesse, but the fierce ardent passion she brings might surprise those who have only heard her in lighter histrionic fare. Even those with indelible memories of Janet Baker in this part will be blown away.” The Telegraph, 10th July 2014 *****

“Elza van der Heever is quite brilliant as she moves from skittish to jealous, contemptuous and baleful. The three men are all good...DiDonato is an absolute knock-out...spellbinding through a perfect combination of singing and acting. Maurizio Benini conducts impeccably.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2014

“handsomely designed...well acted and strongly sung. Elza van der Heever delivers a statuesque Elizabeth, if with tomboyish tendencies...DiDonato offers a physically plain, emotionally determined martyr-monarch, her singing closely and impressively aligned with the character's emotional journey...Benini rises above routine to bring flexibility to his conducting.” BBC Music Magazine ***

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Erato - 2564605475

(Blu-ray)

$18.00

Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda


Opera dOro - OPD1163

Download only from $20.00

Available now to download.

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda


Montserrat Caballe (Maria Stuarda), Michèle Vilma (Elisabetta), Jose Carreras (Leicester), Maurizio Mazzieri (Talbot), Ruth Bezinian (Anna), Enric Serra (Cecil)

Orchestre Lyrique de L'O.R.T.F., Nello Santi

Opera dOro - OPD1315

(CD - 2 discs)

$11.00

(also available to download from $20.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Milan 1971


Montserrat Caballé (Maria), Shirley Verrett (Elisabetta), Ottavio Garaventa (Leicester), Raffaele Ariè (Talbot), Giulio Fioravanti (Cecil)

Orchestra & Chorus of La Scala Milan, Carlo Felice Cillario

This live recording of a performance of Donizetti’s opera Maria Stuarda that took place in Milan in 1971 features one of the outstanding divas in recent times, Montserrat Caballé, alongside other soloists including Shirley Verett, and Ottavio Garaventa. The CD release incorporates a 56-page booklet with historic photos, a complete Italian libretto and new original English translation, and an essay on the performance by Bill Parker.

Gaetano Donizetti wrote three operas based on the lives of English Queens, Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and Roberto Devereux. None of them stick very close to history. Each is treated in such a way as to heighten, exaggerate, or simply invent scenes and situations that might have taken place during the lives of these three fascinating monarchs. Maria Stuarda’s dramatic punch, particularly when the two starring women are front and centre, is unique. Rivalry is always the stuff of great drama, but rivalry between monarchs is, by de nition, on an entirely different and much higher level.

“[Verrett] produces Elisabetta's anger with strength but also inserting sweet diminuendi...Cecil's unshaken dislike of Maria is displayed in Giulio Fioravanti's steady vocalism. Maria must have been one of Caballe's most animated roles...This is an issue worth buying for her and Verrett.” International Record Review, December 2011

Opera dOro Grand Tier - OPD7079

(CD - 2 discs)

$20.25

(also available to download from $20.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda


Sonia Ganassi (Elisabetta), Fiorenza Cedolins (Maria Stuarda), Jose Bros (Leicester), Mirco Palazzi (Talbot), Pervin Chakar (Anna), Marco Caria (Cecil)

Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice, Fabrizo Maria Carminati

Stage Director Denis Krief

The recording was made at Venice's beautiful Teatro La Fenice.

With his sharp and lively conducting, Fabrizio Maria Carminati puts the Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice entirely at the service of three exceptional singers, Sonia Ganassi ("an extraordinary performance," Opera Today) as Elisabetta, Fiorenza Cedolins ("colorful, nuanced, highly dramatic heroine," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) as Maria Stuarda, and José Bros as a passionate Leicester.

"Maria Stuarda" is the most popular work in Donizetti's trilogy of bel canto operas on Tudor queens.

Running Time Opera: 140 minutes

Picture 16:9, HD

DVD: DTS 5.1, PCM Stereo

Subtitles: ENG, FR, D, IT, SP

“Maestro Carminati looks an amiable, gentle soul as he enters the pit but he unleashes a firestorm of tension and passion in the big duets and his judicious tempi bind Donizetti's not-so-easy recitatives into flowing music-drama. Ganassi is in superb fettle throughout, encompassing both power and agility...An outstanding release, and a great relief to be removed from the static period costume displays normally inflicted on this drama.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011

“Carminati leads La Fenice's orchestra in a powerful reading yet with a supportive flow of sound in more reflective passages. All the acrimony, antagonism and enmity can be felt...Ganassi makes a strong figure, strongly sung, her voice full toned as she encompasses the scalework of her opening aria...[Cedolins] brings a dramatic intensity to her performance.” International Record Review, April 2011

“the musical performance, starting in the pit with a vivid, dynamic and elegant performance conducted by Fabrizio Maria Carminati...Sonia Ganassi and Fiorenza Cedolins spit marvellous poison...Donizetti's surprising efficiency in conveying conflicted motives is really well caught in the ensembles, and Mirco Palazzi is a really powerful Talbot.” Opera Now, Summer 2011 ****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - May 2011

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Up to 25% off C Major

C Major - 704208

(DVD Video)

Normally: $32.75

Special: $26.20

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda


Sonia Ganassi (Elisabetta), Fiorenza Cedolins (Maria Stuarda), Jose Bros (Leicester), Mirco Palazzi (Talbot), Pervin Chakar (Anna), Marco Caria (Cecil)

Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice, Fabrizo Maria Carminati

Stage Director Denis Krief

First time on Blu-ray!

The recording was made at Venice's beautiful Teatro La Fenice.

With his sharp and lively conducting, Fabrizio Maria Carminati puts the Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice entirely at the service of three exceptional singers, Sonia Ganassi ("an extraordinary performance," Opera Today) as Elisabetta, Fiorenza Cedolins ("colorful, nuanced, highly dramatic heroine," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) as Maria Stuarda, and José Bros as a passionate Leicester.

"Maria Stuarda" is the most popular work in Donizetti's trilogy of bel canto operas on Tudor queens.

Running Time Opera: 140 minutes

Picture 16:9, HD

BD: DTS-HD MA 5.1, PCM Stereo

“Maestro Carminati looks an amiable, gentle soul as he enters the pit but he unleashes a firestorm of tension and passion in the big duets and his judicious tempi bind Donizetti's not-so-easy recitatives into flowing music-drama. Ganassi is in superb fettle throughout, encompassing both power and agility...An outstanding release, and a great relief to be removed from the static period costume displays normally inflicted on this drama.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011

“the musical performance, starting in the pit with a vivid, dynamic and elegant performance conducted by Fabrizio Maria Carminati...Sonia Ganassi and Fiorenza Cedolins spit marvellous poison...Donizetti's surprising efficiency in conveying conflicted motives is really well caught in the ensembles, and Mirco Palazzi is a really powerful Talbot.” Opera Now, Summer 2011 ****

“Carminati leads La Fenice's orchestra in a powerful reading yet with a supportive flow of sound in more reflective passages. All the acrimony, antagonism and enmity can be felt...Ganassi makes a strong figure, strongly sung, her voice full toned as she encompasses the scalework of her opening aria...[Cedolins] brings a dramatic intensity to her performance.” International Record Review, April 2011

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - May 2011

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Up to 25% off C Major

C Major - 704304

(Blu-ray)

Normally: $32.75

Special: $26.20

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Sung in Italian


Laura Polverelli, Maria Pia Piscitelli, Giovanna Lanza, Roberto De Biasio, Simone Alberghini & Mario Cassi

FORM - Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana & Coro Lirico Marchigiano ‘V. Bellini’, Riccardo Frizza

Filmed at the Sferisterio Opera Festival, Macerata, Italy, 3 August 2007

Director, set and costume designer: Pier Luigi Pizzi

Lighting Designer: Sergio Rossi

In Donizetti’s opera Maria Stuarda the rôles of the doomed queen and her cousin, Elizabeth I, have been taken by some of the greatest divas, from Malibran to Gruberova and Tosi to Baltsa, each revelling in the high drama of their tragically linked fates.

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Naxos - 2110268

(DVD Video)

$27.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Live Recording from The Teatro Alla Scala, Milano, 2008


Anna Caterina Antonacci (Elisabetta), Mariella Devia (Maria), Paola Gardina (Anna), Francesco Meli (Leicester), Simone Alberghino (Talbot), Pietro Terranova (Cecil)

Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro alla Scala, Antonino Fogliani

Directed, Set Design and Costumes by Pier Luigi Pizzi

Two queens on one island. A recipe for disaster. Especially as both have a legitimate claim to the other’s throne. They are, after all, related… So the power politics are the name of the game. And, for reasons of state, one of the heads that wears a crown has to roll.

Maria Stuarda was laid to rest for more than a hundred years, finally being revived in 1958 in Bergamo under conductor Oliviero de Fabritiis. However the real breakthrough for the opera finally came with Giorgio de Lullo’s Florentine production for the Maggio Musicale in 1967 (with set design and costumes by Pier Luigi Pizzi, director, set designer and costume designer at La Scala in 2008). As the two queens, Leyla Gencer and Shirley Verrett, set the vocal standards. Since then, the triumph of Maria Stuarda has been unstoppable. Various top interpreters have taken on the vocal and acting challenges of the main roles, including Montserrat Caballé, Beverly Sills, Janet Baker, Rosalind Plowright, Joan Sutherland, Huguette Tourangeau, Maria Chiara, Edita Gruberova and Agnes Baltsa. Mariella Devia as Maria and Anna Caterina Antonacci as Elisabetta have now also added their names to this illustrious list.

Running Time: 138 min
Picture Format: 16:9
Sound Format: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1

Menu Languages NTSC: GB
Subtitle Languages NTSC: D, F, GB, I, SP

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Arthaus Musik - 101361

(DVD Video)

$27.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

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