Opera Cheat Sheet: Roberto Devereux

A quick intro to the third of Donizetti’s so-called “Tudor Queens” trilogy, Saturday’s Met Opera broadcast.

Sondra Radvanovsky as Elisabetta and Matthew Polenzani in the title role of Donizetti'sRoberto Devereux. Photo by Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera.
Sondra Radvanovsky as Elisabetta and Matthew Polenzani in the title role of Donizetti’sRoberto Devereux.

Gaetano Donizetti seems to have had a thing for English Tudor history!  He wrote no less than four operas about historical figures from the time of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

The climactic opera of the “Tudor Queen” trilogy, Roberto Devereux which debuted in Naples in 1837, tells the story of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, an influential member of the court of Elizabeth I (and her supposed lover!), and how her feelings for him impacted her role as monarch.

Tune in to Houston Public Media’s Classical 91.7 Saturday, April 16th, at noon to hear the Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Roberto Devereux featuring tenor Matthew Polenzani in the title role and soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as Elisabetta.

[The excerpts in this OCS are taken from Deutsche Grammophon box set of the three Donizetti “Tudor Queen” trilogy.  Charles Mackerras conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ambrosian Opera Chorus.  The role of Elisabetta is sung by Beverly Sills (DG 289 465 964-2).]


Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Digital News Producer

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz is originally from Madrid (Spain). He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree...

More Information