6-28 May 2023


Dutch National Opera, Main Stage

Running time

2:55, incl. 1 interval


From €22

Maria Stuarda

Two queens, one throne

A scorching face-off that is both personal and political, and ultimately proves to be fatal. This opera pits Elizabeth I, Queen of England, and Mary Stuart, the exiled Queen of Scots, against each other in a fierce struggle that is as much about power as it is about love and moral righteousness. Bel canto composer Donizetti created a ravishing score for this opera that is both melodic and deeply moving, delivering plenty of emotional intensity as the lethal conflict between the two historical queens unfolds.  

Photo: Marta Syrko

Two queens, one throne

Although, historically speaking, Elisabeth I and Mary Stuart never actually met, a potential encounter between the two has formed the stuff of fantasy for writers, painters and composers over the centuries. Donizetti too drew inspiration from this concoction, creating a spine-tingling showdown that sizzles with vocal fireworks as the two queens hurl insults at each other, culminating in Stuarda’s “Vil bastarda”! (“Vile bastard!”). Elisabeth’s emotions get the better of her and she becomes ruthless in her pursuit for vengeance. 



Maria Stuarda (1835) is the second instalment of Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy that is being presented over a period of three seasons, with Dutch director Jetske Mijnssen delving deep into the psyches of these complex characters. A common thread in her staging of the trilogy is Elizabeth’s life and the trauma she has suffered. The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra will bring Donizetti’s score to life from the pit, under the baton of Enrique Mazzola – a world-class specialist of the bel canto repertoire. Young, up-and-coming Russian mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina will sing the role of Elizabeth. 

Performance information

Opera in three acts
Sung in Italian

Libretto  Giuseppe Bardari

Musical  direction  Enrique Mazzola
Stage direction  Jetske Mijnssen
Set design  Ben Baur
Costume design  Klaus Bruns
Dramaturgy  Luc Joosten
Choreography  Lillian Stillwell
Lighting design  Cor van den Brink

Elisabetta  Aigul Akhmetshina
Maria Stuarda  Kristina Mkhitaryan
Anna Kennedy  Claire Antoine*
Leicester  Ismael Jordi
Giorgio Talbot  Aleksei Kulagin
Lord Guglielmo Cecil  Simon Mechlinski

* Dutch National Opera Studio

Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorus master  Edward Ananian-Cooper

Coproduction with Teatro San Carlo (Napels) and Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (Valencia)

Change in box office opening hours

Please note our box office opening hours will change on March 1.

The second belcanto masterpiece in Donizetti's Tudor trilogy

Ticket prices

Check out the ticket prices per price category via the link below.

Ticket prices

We offer discounts for specific groups in order to make our performances accessible to everyone. Check this page to see if you are eligible for a discount.

Standard CJP | City Pass | 
Youth up to 16
1st € 158,00 € 143,00 
2nd € 131,00  € 116,00
3rd € 102,00 € 90,00
4th € 81,00 € 73,00
5th € 55,00 € 46,00
6th € 28,00 € 22,00

Dutch National Opera & Ballet works with a system of dynamic pricing: during the booking period the ticket prices may increase, depending on demand. Prices exclude € 2,00 booking fee per ticket.

Student discount and Student Alert
When a performance is not sold out, students can buy tickets on the day from 1pm for only €19 - regardless of which price category is ordered. Don't forget to bring your college card to be checked at the door.

For some productions a Student Alert is given. This allows you to book earlier than on the day with student discounts. If you want to sign up for these Student Alerts, check here.

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Netherlands Chamber Orchestra

Netherlands Chamber Orchestra

Dutch National Opera has a long-standing and proud history with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra | the Nether­lands Chamber Orchestra, which has been its main orchestra partner for the past 30 years. It is widely considered to be one of the best opera orchestras in the world.

© Anna van Kooij

Netherlands Chamber Orchestra

In addition to its opera tasks, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is a regular performer in The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The orchestra works with internationally renowned guest conductors and soloists, as well as representatives of a new generation of top musicians. The orchestra makes classical music accessible to everyone who is open to it: not only on the big stages, but also in community centres, schools and hospitals. In this way, the orchestra provides the finest and best music experience for both classical connoisseurs and new listeners.

With its hospitable home auditorium, the NedPhO Dome in Amsterdam's 'Indische buurt', the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is right at the heart of society. Every year, the Orchestra organizes around two hundred activities for music education, neighbourhood participation and talent development.


Almost every performance at Dutch National Opera & Ballet is preceded by an introduction, with background information that can deepen your theatre visit. The introductions are in Dutch and admission is free by showing a valid ticket.

Introduction Maria Stuarda by: Naomi Teekens
Time: 45 minutes before the start of each performance
Location: 2nd balcony

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