A wonderful Roberto Devereux, tour-De-force performance from Sills
Watching and listening to opera has always been a passion of mine, and it was wonderful discovering this lesser yet nonetheless electrifying Donizetti work. And who better to sing Queen Elizabeth than the late great Beverly Sills? Roberto Devereux has a good story and wonderful music, and this production was simply wonderful.
Remastered beautifully, the sets are sparse but very evocative regardless and the costumes particularly Sills' are lavish and colourful. This is all helped by great sound, clear picture quality and interesting video directing.
I cannot fault the orchestral playing or the conducting either. The orchestral playing is full of style, power and poignancy and Julius Rudel's conducting is very lively.
The performances are truly ones to treasure. John Alexander sings beautifully throughout, however he could have been more commanding in some of his scenes and the prison scene was a slight disappointment, but these didn't ruin the performance too much for me. Richard Fredericks is a powerful Duke of Buckingham, both vocally and acting-wise, and Susanne Marsee is a very touching Sara.
As great as these performances are, there is one performance that is really the one to watch for. Beverly Sills as Queen Elizabeth. I have always liked Sills, she was a wonderful Violetta, Lucia, Rosina, Olympia and Manon, but after seeing her here, this is probably my favourite performance of her and my favourite DVD featuring her. She had great technique and a beautiful voice, and I don't think I have ever seen Sills so powerful dramatically than I have here.
In conclusion, really an opera production to watch. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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