Arrow down iconArrow left iconArrow right iconArrow up iconAudio iconBasket iconClose iconDocument iconExclamation mark iconMenu iconPhoto iconQuotation markQuote iconTick iconUser icon

Maria Stuarda

Two queens become bitter rivals in Donizetti’s tragic opera, given a new staging by directors Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of Maria Stuarda. It was last on stage 5–18 July 2014 as part of the Summer 2013/14 season.


Mary, Queen of Scots, has been imprisoned by her cousin Elizabeth I of England. The Earl of Leicester urges Elizabeth to meet with Mary and be reconciled, but Elizabeth grows jealous of Leicester’s admiration for her cousin.


Gaetano Donizetti’s historical opera Maria Stuarda was banned by the authorities in Milan after its 1835 premiere, due to its perceived inflammatory content. The opera lay neglected for over a hundred years until 1958, when a performance in Donizetti’s hometown of Bergamo re-introduced it to the opera repertory. Maria Stuarda has since grown steadily in popularity. It is recognized as containing some of Donizetti’s most moving music, including Mary’s confession duet with Talbot and her poignant aria in the final scene of the opera, as she calmly faces her approaching death.

Maria Stuarda provides a magnificent showcase for the two singers playing Mary and Elizabeth, particularly in their extended duet in Act II. Famous pairings for the roles of the regal cousins have included Joan Sutherland and Huguette Tourangeau, both of whom starred in the first production of Maria Stuarda at Covent Garden in 1977, and Janet Baker and Rosalind Plowright, who sang the roles for ENO.

News and features

View more