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17 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Maria Stuarda.
After seeing this in a cinema broadcast from the Met I constantly accessed the Met Opera site to see when and if they would release it. It was the very best production we had seen and DiDonato's voice is out of this world. All the cast is good, set design superb and very imaginative. Camera work is good and was the same as broadcast. Highly recommended as the essential...
Published 3 months ago by CDW

versus
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great
I, too, saw this as a live transmission at the cinema, and was bowled over by the dramatic intensity. Not my favourite out of the 'Three Queens', but still a marvellous work. I would have liked to give this at least 4 stars, but could not do so on 2 counts.

Mathew Polenzani was weak as Leicester, and on top of that, I was infuriated by his arrogance in the...
Published 3 months ago by polly


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Maria Stuarda., 28 April 2014
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This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
After seeing this in a cinema broadcast from the Met I constantly accessed the Met Opera site to see when and if they would release it. It was the very best production we had seen and DiDonato's voice is out of this world. All the cast is good, set design superb and very imaginative. Camera work is good and was the same as broadcast. Highly recommended as the essential Maria Stuarda
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous performance, 22 April 2014
By 
A. J. Valentine (London.UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
I have always thought that of the three Donizetti Tudor operas, Maria Stuarda is the greatest. That was until I saw the ghastly produced and under sung performances offered up recently by Welsh National Opera. I thought may be my judgment on these works was wrong. It shows how poor performances can damage a works reputation. It was with great relief that after watching this DVD my original thoughts, that this is one of Donizetti's greatest works. I have been fortunate enough to hear many great Maria's ,Janet Baker, Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballe, Mara Zampieri , to name a few. Having seen Joyce DiDonato in a number of roles mostly comic or frivolous I wondered if she would have the dramatic weight both acting wise and vocally for this role. I need not have worried, she is quite superb.(Sorry Joyce for doubting you) My standard for the role of Mary has always been Janet Baker, whose performances at the English National Opera in 1973 and again in 1982 were quite magnificent. DiDonato runs her a close second, with her great technique and many colours in her voice she brings the character vividly to life, her final scene extremely moving. Elza Van den Heever is an excellent Elizabeth, she may not have the fullness and beauty of voice of Rosalind Plowright at her greatest, or the natural Italianate sound of Sonia Ganassi on the Dynamic DVD but her large well projected voice makes the scene between the two Queens very exciting. Matthew Polenzani as Leicester seems to force his tone in the first scene and the sound is a bit gritty, but he improves greatly later on, though my favourite Leicester is the young Joseph Calleja (also on Dynamic). Joshua Hopkins makes a very insidious Lord Cecil and its good to see the British singer Matthew Rose from the ROH young artist programme making his mark as Marys confidante and confessor Lord Talbot.. Maurizio Benini is well at home is this repertoire and conducts an exciting performance with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra on terrific form. What brings this performance together into a dramatic and believable whole is the production of David McVicar in magnificent sets by John Macfarlane. David McVicar tells the story clearly and succinctly in correct period. He cleverly shows the passing of time between each scene. What a relief to have a producer as servant to the composer, rather than some of the awful travesties that some opera producers foist on the public. I shall always keep my DVD of the ENO production, though sung in English it enshrines a truly magnificent performance from Dame Janet Baker. Some people reviewing this set complain that it is not Blu-ray. I have a large flat screen television and find the HD filming of this opera superbly clear and the surround sound natural and full, in fact the cannon shots in the final scene signifying the execution of Mary quite terrifying . I can fully recommend this great new performance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good traditional staging with good overall cast, 8 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
A beautifully costumed but no frills production that brings out the drama of Schiller's original. Overall the singing is above average, but this wouldn't be a first choice for singing except the superb Elza Van den Heever.
Joyce Di Donato gives a marvelously compelling interpretation of the title role, with some brilliant coloratura, but the pronounced fast vibrato can be a little intrusive at times, and occasionally compromises the pitch. She is nonetheless superb. The tenor is not Pavarotti - but who is!
Chorus and orchestra are of the usual high Met standard.
Recommended - but not definitive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good bargain, 18 May 2014
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This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
Good MET production, attractive cast, very good singing and great Di Donato . The best avaible Maria Stuarda on DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joyce Di Donato shows very good acting skills in the title role, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
The sound is first rate so bringing out the powerful singing of the cast. Joyce Di Donato shows very good acting skills in the title role. Excellent production,
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5.0 out of 5 stars Re-Joyce it's Joyce all the way!, 15 Aug 2014
This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
Saw the Covent Garden production as well as this one. The Covent Garden production definitely peculiar in its costumes and staging. Like its sister production at the Met, the singers bar one were all very competent. Of course I am speaking of the divine DiDonato, who is a world-class star and, in my opinion, the greatest bel canto lyric mezzo in the world and of the last few decades. Acting superbly, singing sublimely with perfect musicality, flawless technique and acting her socks off, she makes the opera and the production the stunning production it was. Act II brought tears to my eyes. The plot is really kind of silly - two queens fighting over a rather boring man - (so what's new??) but the dramatic tension and the focus on Maria/Joyce in Act II are quite electric.
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5.0 out of 5 stars La Stupenda for the 21st Century, 13 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
I had the great pleasure of seeing DiDonato sing this live at Covent Garden twice this summer and she was absolutely stunning. Nothing can beat her live performance of the role but this DVD is an essential addition to my collection. Also, McVicar's staging is much more sumptuous and fitting than Leiser & Caurier's was at Covent Garden this year. If you like Bel Canto opera, you should definitely get this!!! If the final act doesn't leave you gasping, you're not human.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
Saw the live streaming of this opera from the Met in the cinema and was pleased as punch to find the dvd on Amazon at a great price. I love this opera and I rate this production vrry highly. Joyce is superb as usual but the young South African soprana playing Elisabeth is a revelation! Her portrayal of the young queen is mesmerising and the voice is sublime. I have no quibble with the picture quality on this dvd either and would say it is high definition quality. All in all you won't find a better production in my humble opinion. Enjoy...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 July 2014
This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
All excellent so far. Thank you
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
The very best.
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Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014]
Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] by Elza Van den Heever, Matthew Polenzani, Joshua Hopkins, Matthew Rose / Maurizio Benini , David McVicar Joyce DiDonato (DVD - 2014)
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