Roberto Devereux

Dutch National Opera

Roberto Devereux

The story of the love between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex, concludes the Tudor Trilogy, as it is known, by the Italian belcanto composer Gaetano Donizetti.

In Roberto Devereux (1837), Donizetti shows Elizabeth I as an older woman, two years before her death. The tough world of politics at her court and in her empire has turned her into a stern, bitter and lonely woman. She has rarely been fortunate enough to experience happiness in love. Now she has reached the end of her life, she has become more aware of that absence, and her desire for love has only grown. But Elizabeth soon realises she is not the only one to have fallen for Devereux.

Far more than the main character, Elizabeth is in fact the star of the opera, with Donizetti giving a very individual and human musical portrait of the queen. Every shade of feeling in her heart is reflected in the music, from her innermost desire for love to anger, hate, disdain and doubt. This makes Roberto Devereux the most modern of the three Tudor operas.

Finale of Elizabeth's story

Stage director Jetske Mijnssen and conductor Enrique Mazzola will be completing the life story of Elizabeth I with Roberto Devereux, after having previously shown her as a child in Anna Bolena and as an adult at the peak of her reign in Maria Stuarda. In Roberto Devereux, Elizabeth’s struggle at the end of her life is, above all, with herself.

Barno Ismatullaeva will sing the demanding role of Elizabeth. She possesses not only a warm, creamy voice, but also a charismatic stage personality. The role of Sara Nottingham, Elizabeth’s rival in love, will be sung by the warm mezzo-soprano Angela Brower. Ismael Jordi will once again take on the tenor role in this concluding opera in the trilogy.

Performance information

Lyric tragedy in three acts 
Sung in Italian

Libretto  Salvadore Cammarano

Musical direction  Enrique Mazzola
Stage direction  Jetske Mijnssen
Set design  Ben Baur
Costume design  Klaus Bruns
Lighting design  Cor van den Brink
Dramaturgy  Luc Joosten

Elisabetta  Barno Ismatullaeva
Duca di Nottingham  TBA
Sara, duchessa di Nottingham  Angela Brower
Roberto Devereux  Ismael Jordi

Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorus master  Edward Ananian-Cooper

Netherlands Chamber Orchestra

Coproduction with Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (Valencia) and Teatro San Carlo (Naples)

Photo: Marta Syrko