Minnesota Opera: Mary Stuart

American audiences seemingly never tire of the brawling, conniving, and brilliant British monarchs known as the Tudors, and their closest allies/enemies, the Scottish Stuarts. Our perceptions of the oft-married Henry VIII and his offspring Queen Elizabeth I have been most recently been shaped onscreen by, respectively, Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the fickle king on Showtime's The Tudors, and Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren's ferociously luminous portrayals in movie versions of the Virgin Queen's reign. But there are operas, too—a trilogy by Gaetano Donizetti. Last year, the Minnesota Opera staged the first, Roberto Devereux, with soprano Brenda Harris as Elizabeth in the bel-canto opera. Harris executed the filigreed singing style with thrilling control infused with the passionate discontent of a Queen wronged. She's back, this time as an Elizabeth, warring with Mary Queen of Scots in Donizetti's Mary Stuart. Judith Howarth is Mary, languishing in prison as Elizabeth plots her demise to secure the crown. For tickets and info call 612.333.6669 or visit www.mnopera.org.
Sat., Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m.; Tue., Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 5, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 6, 2 p.m., 2011

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