Cher Public

Roberto Devereux: Tragedy Mirrored

Devereux Leyla GencerBy the time Roberto Devereux saw its premiere at Napoli’s Teatro San Carlo on 29 October, 1837, Gaetano Donizetti had lost, in an 18-month time frame, both his parents, two still-born children, and his beloved wife Virginia. (Ten years later, the unfortunate composer, after a gradual descent into madness, met a grisly end, from complications of syphilis.) The opera was completed a month after his wife’s death. We can scarcely imagine how the composer, in his grief, summoned up the means to create an opera—and one that so often teems with his richest levels of inspiration.  Read more »

Donizetti, lionized

PoliutoJust when you thought it was safe to return to Rossini and Verdi—blam! Read more »

Queen for a D

Some may conjecture that Anna Bolena is a stronger opera than Maria Stuarda and its title role a better fit for Sondra Radvanovsky, but Friday’s season premiere at the Met of Donizetti’s opera about the doomed Scottish queen proved surprisingly satisfying and a genuine success for the American soprano.   Read more »