Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena” for the first time in Estonia
Concert performance of Gaetano Donizetti’s opera “Anna Bolena” will be performed for the first time in Estonia on November 12 at the Estonian National Opera. The conductor is Arvo Volmer, the roles will be sung by Alisa Gitsba (Helikon-Opera), Pavlo Balakin, Oksana Volkova (Belorussia), Priit Volmer, Juhan Tralla, Helen Lokuta and Mart Madiste.
Few figures in British history have stimulated the imaginations of writers, painters and film directors quite like Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. “Anna Bolena” is a truthful and touching story of the Queen’s final days in the scheming court of the callous Henry VIII, after the latter fell out of love with her. It is the first of the “three queens” operas by Donizetti, dealing with the Tudor period (the others being “Maria Stuarda”, 1834 and 1835; and “Roberto Devereux”, 1837, named after a lover of Queen Elizabeth I). “Anna Bolena” premiered to great success, reflecting the best of the golden age of bel canto. This opera raised the name of Donizetti beside the two kings of Italian opera, Vincenzo Bellini and Gioachino Rossini. Unfortunately the opera was forgotten like many bel canto operas only to be revived by the powerful voice of Maria Callas in the 1950s. “Anna Bolena” is a good example of the Donizetti-like bel canto that allows the singers to demonstrate their skills.
“Anna Bolena” continues Estonian National Opera’s successful series of concert performances of operas, being 18th on the list.