Live at the Met season features Maria Stuarda at Opera House

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House continues the 2012-13 season of Live at the Met high definition opera broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera with Gaetano Doni-zetti’s tragic opera, Maria Stuarda (Mary Stuart), on Saturday at 1 p.m.

“This week’s Met offering, Maria Stuarda, is the second in what is commonly called Donizetti’s ‘Tudor Trilogy’, a series of three operas which all deal with the Tudor period of English history” says Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis. “Along with Anna Bolena and Roberto Devereux, the three operas all feature female lead characters often referred to as the ‘Three Donizetti Queens’.”

In Maria Stuarda, Joyce DiDonato sings the title role of Mary, Queen of Scots in the first-ever Met production of Donizetti’s intensely dramatic historical opera. South African soprano Elza van den Heever makes her Met debut as Mary’s rival, the formidable Queen Elizabeth I; and Matthew Polenzani sings Leicester, the nobleman caught between the two dueling monarchs. Maurizio Benini conducts a cast that also includes Matthew Rose as Talbot, Mary’s jailer, and Joshua Hopkins as Elizabeth’s advisor Cecil.

The production is by David McVicar, who also staged last season’s production of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. Soprano Deborah Voigt hosts the high definition transmission and conducts backstage interviews with the stars. The New York Times calls the production, which premiered on New Year’s Eve, a “musically splendid and intensely dramatic performance.”

The production lasts three hours, 15 minutes, notes Davis.

“There is one intermission,” he adds, “during which the Opera House will have snacks and beverages available for purchase in the trustee room on the second floor of Village Hall. (No food or beverage is allowed inside the theatre.)”

Live at the Met opera broadcasts are made possible by Dr. James M. and Marcia Merrins, who funded the purchase of the satellite transmission and projection equipment used in the series. Additional support comes from Bob and Shirley Coon, Bob and Susan Dilks, Steve and Mary Rees and DFT Communications.

Tickets to Maria Stuarda are $20 ($18 for Opera House and Met members, $15 for students) and are available in advance by calling or visiting the Box Office at 679-1891 TuesdayFriday, 1-5 p.m. They also may be purchased online anytime at The Opera House also is offering a new flexible opera subscription consisting of nine tickets that can be used however the patron wants one at a time to nine different operas, all at once for nine people, or anything in between. The flexible opera subscription is $161.

Chautauqua County’s only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit will be screened live from the Met in high definition at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Saturday at 1 p.m.