Maria Stuarda is a tragic opera by Gaetano Donizetti, loosely based on the lives of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her cousin Elizabeth I. Imprisoned by Elizabeth for treason, the opera follows the rift between the two women that eventually lead to Mary’s beheading. Maria Stuarda was almost forgotten for over a century after a controversial debut. When the opera was first premiered in 1835 at the Scala in Milan, some changes were made to the wording of the play to remove offensive content. However, the soprano in the title role, Maria Malibran, refused to adhere to the adjustments and scandalously sang the original words. The opera was swiftly cancelled by the authorities. In 1958 it was rediscovered in its censored form, and since the Eighties its popularity has been on the rise in its original, lewd version.
First staged at the Liceu in January 1969, the opera returns with a series of performances from late December until January 10th.
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