Joyce DiDonato stars as Mary, Queen of Scots, in the first-ever Met production of Donizetti’s intensely dramatic historical opera Maria Stuarda, on Great Performances at the Met Sunday, July 14 at 12 noon on PBS (check local listings).
South African soprano Elza van den Heever makes her Met debut as Mary’s rival, the formidable Queen Elizabeth I, and Matthew Polenzani sings Leicester, the nobleman caught between the two dueling monarchs. Maurizio Benini conducts a cast that also includes Matthew Rose as Talbot, Mary’s jailer, and Joshua Hopkins as Elizabeth’s advisor Cecil.
The production is by David McVicar, who also staged last season’s broadcast of Donizetti’s Tudor drama Anna Bolena.
After the production’s December 31 premiere, The New York Times raved, “It was hard to imagine a better New Year’s Eve gift to opera lovers than this musically splendid and intensely dramatic performance.” The Financial Times opined, “Joyce DiDonato gives an exquisitely proportioned, remarkably sensitive performance.”
Soprano Deborah Voigt hosts the broadcast and conducts backstage interviews with the stars.
Maria Stuarda was originally seen live in movie theaters on January 19 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 1900 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 64 countries around the world.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its 40 year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Now in its fifth decade, the series has been the home to the greatest artists in the areas of drama, dance, musical theater, classical and popular music, providing many with their very first television exposure.
Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. ThisGreat Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, and public television viewers.
For the Met, Gary Halvorson directs the telecast. Jay David Saks is Music Producer, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.