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On 19 February 2008, San Diego Opera presented Donizetti's Maria Stuarda under the title Mary, Queen of Scots. The sets for this traditional production were designed by Ming Cho Lee for the New York City Opera. The detailed, stylistically correct costumes created by Ingeborg Berneth for Dallas Opera added much to the stage picture and helped to place the work in its exact time and place. Director Andrew Sinclair told the story in a dramatic manner and the full emotional impact of this opera was evident when the lights went up at the end.
Angela Gilbert in the title role of San Diego Opera's 'Mary, Queen of Scots'. Photo © 2008 Ken Howard
Angela Gilbert, who had been ill for the première, was a spirited Mary who gave a dramatically coherent interpretation of her role while singing with lustrous tones. From her dreamy opening aria to her death scene, her legato was smooth and her coloratura accurate.
Elizabeth (Kate Aldrich) holds court with the Earl of Leicester (Yeghishe Manucharyan), while Talbot (Reinhard Hagen) looks on. Photo © 2008 Ken Howard
Kate Aldrich was a magnificent Elizabeth who commanded the stage as though it was her kingdom. It is she who opens the opera, and she established her dominance both vocally and dramatically from the first scene, all the while singing in exquisite bel canto style.
Copyright © 10 March 2008
Maria Nockin, Arizona USA