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Teatro alla Scala Orchestra and Chorus

Gaetano Donizetti

Sung in Italian with electronic libretto in Italian, English

Notes on the performancesOpen 
A queen of bel canto for three British queens and three royal beheadings. The first, the Catholic and much-discussed Mary Stuart, ex-wife of the King of France and Queen of Scotland, was imprisoned for twenty years and finally executed by her cousin, Elizabeth I. Donizetti gave the title “Aria del supplizio” (the Torture Aria) to her noble finale, in which everyone is forgiven. Then Anna Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, is sent to the gallows because the king wished to take another wife. And lastly, Elizabeth I, the daughter of the couple, who, riven by conflicting feelings, has to send her lover to the executioner, his pardon arriving only after the sentence has been carried out. Proud and sometimes disdainful women, they are powerful and fraught by doubts, passions and affairs of state. Donizetti’s melodrama has animated their voices with vehement warbling and the astral perfection of Edita Gruberova has often raised the extreme moments of those tragic destinies, reunited here, to white hot.


Marco Armiliato
Chorus Master
Bruno Casoni
Edita Gruberova
Soloists of the Teatro alla Scala Academy


Gaetano Donizetti
"The three Queens"
Finales from
Maria Stuarda
Anna Bolena
Roberto Devereux
Teatro alla Scala