The Queen and her Favourite


05/03/2021 - 11/03/2021

The Queen and her Favourite

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Kings, queens, and their favourites… Or how, in pandemic times, our artists refuse to give up. Now that the grandiose Donizetti project Bastarda (about the life of Elizabeth I) has been postponed, the team has come up with a new, but related project. Exploring the bel canto repertoire and the impact of song, the conflict between love and power is further examined through illustrative figures such as Elizabeth I. Over two evenings, you will be served up the highlights of Rossini’s Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra and Donizetti’s La favorita. While both of these operas may take liberties with the historical record, the ‘beautiful singing’ of this cast will more than make up for that.

The Queen and her Favourite

In Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra (1815), Rossini’s first opera for the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, we meet Elizabeth Tudor again as, following a military victory in Scotland, she learns of the secret marriage of her protégé Leicester. After scenes of betrayal and sacrifice, Elizabeth finally forgives her favourite and seeks to forget that, as well as being a queen, she is also a woman: “Fuggi amor da questo seno / non turbar più il viver mio” (“May love disappear from my heart and no longer torment my life”).

For yet more royal favouritism and vocal fireworks: see La favorita

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