The Metropolitan Opera HD Live: Season 6, Episode 1

Donizetti: Anna Bolena (13 Oct. 2012)

TV Episode  -  Music
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 17 users  
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The first of the "Three Queens" operas by Donizetti tells of Anne Boleyn's disastrous marriage to Henry VIII. Anna Netrebko plays the doomed queen, Ildar Abdrazakov is her Henry VIII, and Stephen Costello is Lord Percy.

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Title: Donizetti: Anna Bolena (13 Oct 2012)

Donizetti: Anna Bolena (13 Oct 2012) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Anna Netrebko ...
Ildar Abdrazakov ...
Ekaterina Gubanova ...
Stephen Costello ...
Tamara Mumford ...
Smeton
Keith Miller ...
Lord Rochefort
Eduardo Valdes ...
Sir Hervey
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marco Armiliato ...
Himself - Conducted by
Metropolitan Opera Chorus ...
Chorus
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Storyline

The first of the "Three Queens" operas by Donizetti tells of Anne Boleyn's disastrous marriage to Henry VIII. Anna Netrebko plays the doomed queen, Ildar Abdrazakov is her Henry VIII, and Stephen Costello is Lord Percy.

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Release Date:

13 October 2012 (Japan)  »

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16:9 HD
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User Reviews

 
Weighty Performance
24 December 2012 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

In this intelligent and attractive production by David McVicar most of the characters are in black and white so that the effect is rather like a Rembrandt painting. Exceptions are Anna Netrebko, in the title role, wearing a sumptuous red gown and Ildar Abdrazakov as HenryVIII looking convincingly like the Holbein portrait.

This is a triumph for Anna Netrebko. I have never heard her sing so well. She has put on a few pounds since I saw her pole-dancing in Manon five years ago but that also appears to have resulted in a much weightier vocal performance. Dramatically too, her interpretation of the imperious Anna Bolena is most impressive. Most moving of all is the long mad scene at the end where Anna imagines her wedding to Henry. This seems like a dry run for Lucia di Lammermoor. The opera ends with Anna exiting centre stage with her hair raised in one hand and her head bowed with the executioner standing above her leaving no doubt as to the outcome.

There is first rate support from bass Ildar Abdrazakov as Henry and there is also an excellent tenor, Stephen Costello as Anna's childhood lover Richard Percy. The statuesque Tamara Mumford is convincing in the trouser role of Smeaton although perhaps the frilly panties under her doublet and hose are a mistake.

The weak link in this production is Ekaterina Gubanova's Jane Seymour. Seymour is a complex character, torn between her loyalty to Anna and her own ambition to replace her as queen but Gubanova, in a stodgy performance, conveys none of this complexity. Her duet with Henry and also the beautiful duet with Anna are both disappointing.


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