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: Marina Rebeka | © Ben van Duin

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. Marina Rebeka, one of the very few singers of our time to master all three Donizetti queens, promises to wow in this production’s title role. She will share the stage with young, up-and-coming Russian mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina who will sing the role of Elizabeth. 

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

Elisabetta Aigul Akhmetshina
Maria Stuarda Marina Rebeka
Leicester Ismael Jordi
Giorgio Talbot  NN
Lord Guglielmo Cecil NN

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)

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

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. All prices are exclusive of booking fees.

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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.

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