New production :
Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège
Royal Opera House de Muscat (OMAN)
Opéra de Lausanne
ABAO-OLBE Asociación Bilbaina de amigos de la Ópera (BILBAO)
In 1536 at Windsor Castle, King Henry VIII is in love with the young Jane Seymour, a lady in waiting to the Queen, Anne Boleyn. To ensure himself a free rein, the king decides to bring back from exile the former lover of his wife, Lord Percy, who is still in love with her. Unjustly accused of adultery, they are condemned to death and shut away in the Tower of London.
Composed in 1830 in less than one month, Anna Bolena was the 29th opera by Donizetti. The action based on historical facts provides a tragic framework and sublime expression of Romanticism. The composer subtly combines bel canto style full of moving melodies with the most acrobatic of vocal prowess, without ever losing his characters’ authenticity. While the role of Percy was destined for the tenor Rubini, the title role was written for the great Pasta, who was first to perform Bellini’s Norma. It is frightfully technically and psychologically difficult, requires an outstanding voice and features among the most beautiful feminine portrayals in history. Maria Callas made it one of her preferred roles by rescuing it from oblivion in 1957.
Anna Bolena brought Donizetti international renown. In a letter to his wife, it is easy to see just how moved he was by such acclaim: “Everyone is saying that they cannot remember having seen such a dazzling triumph. I was so happy that I felt like crying”.
Absent from our stage since 1982, this new production is being made in collaboration with Oman, Lausanne and Bilbao.
Introduction to performances: curtain-raisers
All the opera performances are preceded by an educational introduction open to all. They take place 30 minutes before the start of the performance, in the company of an opera specialist to provide a pertinent presentation of the work.
Orchestra and Choirs : Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège