What a waste of huge talents
Royal Opera House, London WC2
WHAT IS opera? One thing it isn’t — or shouldn’t be — is a parade of s i n g e r s warbling for the sake of warbling. There is a long tradition of such productions — to wit, the regular vehicles staged for Dame J oan Sutherland to show off her vocal talents — that are more often than not hack works that would never deserve to be revived in any other context.
The ROH’s production of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda falls into that category. It’s a third-rate piece that is dramatically and vocally dull but has some supposed showstoppers for singers of the calibre of Joyce DiDonato, who is in the title role. There’s no other reason why it should be staged.
I’d previously thought I’d be happy to hear Ms DiDonato sing the phone-book. But this p e r f o r ma n c e showed that’s not true, glorious singer and actress though she is. This is a waste of some huge talents and a dull evening — even with the wonderful Joyce