What a waste of huge tal­ents

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

MARIA STU­ARDA

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

DiDonato.

PHOTO: BILL COOPER

Joyce DiDonato

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