Joyce DiDonato stars as Mary, Queen of Scots in the first-ever Met production of Gaetano Donizetti's dramatic historical opera Maria Stuarda. 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 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 broadcast of Donizetti's Tudor drama Anna Bolena. Soprano Deborah Voigt hosts and conducts backstage interviews with the stars.
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