Maria Stuarda, Joyce Didonato and Carmen Giannattasio

25 Jul

Sometimes, the wrong sets and costumes highlight sounds; the visual no longer matters, just the voice.
Such was the case with the Royal Opera House Production of ‘Maria Stuarda’16 July.

Both Ms. Didonato and Ms. Giannattasio sang their parts tenderly, vowels flowing at the soft moments of regret and love lost or never to be.
Hardness of hearts, stubborness of mind, sung in beautiful voices, echoes in my mind today, weeks after their singing.
Ms. Didonato’s closing notes before her death were especially soft and aching-as a hand reaching through bars to a beloved friend, soft and barely touching.
In contrast, the costumes and the set were bare and modern. (Though why then dress the Queens in period?)
The forest set was especially laughable-at least go for high end grahics-or the abstract-not a power point like cut and paste job.
But-perhaps this is a brillant director’s choice to make us close our eyes and listen.

I did.

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