Notes and Editorial Reviews
The lives of British monarchs from Alfred the Great to the Tudors and Stuarts held a special fascination for 19th century composers - none more so than Gaetano Donizetti who wrote seven operas involving English kings and queens. Three of these, 'Il castello di Kenilworth', 'Maria Stuarda' and 'Roberto Devereux' are about Elizabeth 1. None of them is historically accurate, but it is the story of 'Roberto Devereux' which we know best - if only from the movie 'Elizabeth and Essex' with Bette Davis and Errol Flynn. This is a live recording of the concert performances given at the Royal Opera house, Covent Garden in July 2002. The main reason for this recording was to capture the vivid and compelling portrayal of Elizabeth by the great Nelly Miricioiu. The vocal and dramatic demands of the role take the artist from Mozartean delicacy right to the edge of Puccinian Verismo. this is definitely Nelly Miricioiu's vocal territory and as the defiant monarch she is in her element. The two-disc set includes a lavishly illustrated book containing an article on the opera by Jeremy Commons as well as the libretto and translation into English.