18 April - 6 May 2024


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Running time

2:40, incl. 1 interval



Roberto Devereux

The downfall of a queen

The story of the love between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex, concludes the Tudor Trilogy, as it is known, by the Italian belcanto composer Gaetano Donizetti.

Photo: Marta Syrko

The loneliness of the throne

In Roberto Devereux (1837), Donizetti shows Elizabeth I as an older woman, two years before her death. The tough world of politics at her court and in her empire has turned her into a stern, bitter and lonely woman. She has rarely been fortunate enough to experience happiness in love. Now she has reached the end of her life, she has become more aware of that absence, and her desire for love has only grown. But Elizabeth soon realises she is not the only one to have fallen for Devereux.

Far more than the main character, Elizabeth is in fact the star of the opera, with Donizetti giving a very individual and human musical portrait of the queen. Every shade of feeling in her heart is reflected in the music, from her innermost desire for love to anger, hate, disdain and doubt. This makes Roberto Devereux the most modern of the three Tudor operas.

Finale of Elizabeth’s story

Stage director Jetske Mijnssen and conductor Enrique Mazzola will be completing the life story of Elizabeth I with Roberto Devereux, after having previously shown her as a child in Anna Bolena and as an adult at the peak of her reign in Maria Stuarda. In Roberto Devereux, Elizabeth’s struggle at the end of her life is, above all, with herself.

Barno Ismatullaeva will sing the demanding role of Elizabeth. She possesses not only a warm, creamy voice, but also a charismatic stage personality. The role of Sara Nottingham, Elizabeth’s rival in love, will be sung by the warm mezzo-soprano Angela BrowerIsmael Jordi will once again take on the tenor role in this concluding opera in the trilogy.

Performance information

Lyric tragedy in three acts 
Sung in Italian

Libretto  Salvadore Cammarano

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

Elisabetta  Barno Ismatullaeva
Duca di Nottingham  Nikolai Zemlianskikh
Sara, duchessa di Nottingham  Angela Brower
Roberto Devereux  Ismael Jordi
Lord Cecil  Thando Mjandana
Sir Gualtiero Raleigh  Mark Kurmanbayev*
Un Cavaliere  Peter Arink
Un famigliare di Nottingham  Sander Heutinck

* Dutch National Opera Studio

Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorus master  Edward Ananian-Cooper

Netherlands Chamber Orchestra

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

Online programme

Along with the printed programme book, we also offer online programme information for this performance. The online programme will take you behind the scenes with in-depth stories, articles, and interviews with the creators and cast.

Roberto Devereux
Behind the scenes

5 reasons to look forward to Roberto Devereux

in de media

Crowning Glory [...] Well-nuanced production

22 April

Donizetti's Roberto Devereux offers plenty of drama, and dashing music. Strong singing, superb orchestral playing and fine visuals.

19 April

Conductor Enrique Mazzola and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra once again provided refinement and class. Everything about bel canto came together magnificently in the prelude to Devereux's aria [...].

19 April

Mijnssen says she wanted to present the work as a play, so not so much as a musical drama. She succeeded wonderfully in this.

19 April
Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux - DNO 2024 | Photos: Ben van Duin
Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux - DNO (2024) | Foto's Ben van Duin
Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux
Roberto Devereux
Nederlands Kamerorkest

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra | Netherlands  Chamber Orchestra

The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Netherlands Chamber Orchestra have been the main orchestral partners of Dutch National Opera for over thirty years. They are regarded as among the best opera orchestras in the world. The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam is the main regular stage for their concerts.

Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest | Nederlands Kamerorkest

In addition to the programmes with chief conductor Lorenzo Viotti and Gordan Nicolić (musical leader of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra), the orchestras  collaborate with both internationally acclaimed guest conductors and soloists and top-class musicians from the up-and-coming generation.

The orchestras perform at numerous venues, bringing people together through their music and giving both classical music aficionados and new audiences the perfect musical experience. With their welcoming home base in the NedPhO Dome in Amsterdam’s Indische Buurt neighbourhood, the two orchestras are at the heart of the community and aim to make classical music accessible to everyone who shows an interest.

In the 2023/2024 season, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra will be playing the operas Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, Lohengrin, Il trittico and Oedipus Rex / Antigone.The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra can be heard in Die Zauberflöte and Roberto Devereux

Podcast Roberto Devereux

Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda
The media about

Extremely nuanced and serrated direction by Jetske Mijnssen and fine musical support from conductor Enrique Mazzola in the orchestra pit."

- About Anna Bolena

11 May

A hit - It's a horror to be enjoyed to the full"

- About Maria Stuarda

7 May

Conductor Enrique Mazzola constantly pays attention to the singers and lets the entire orchestra pit breathe with them"

- About Anna Bolena

11 May

Outstanding voices, compelling psychodrama”

-about Maria Stuarda

7 May
Maria Stuarda and Elisabetta
Maria Stuarda - Kristina Mkhitaryan (Maria Stuarda), Aigul Akhmetshina (Elisabetta) | Photo: Ben van Duin
Elisabetta and a group in black
Maria Stuarda - Aigul Akhmetshina (Elisabetta), Kristina Mkhitaryan (Maria Stuarda), Ismael Jordi (Leicester) & dancers | Photo: Ben van Duin
Maria Stuarda and Leicester, while Elisabetta is watching
Maria Stuarda - Aigul Akhmetshina (Elisabetta), Kristina Mkhitaryan (Maria Stuarda) & Ismael Jordi (Leicester) | Photo: Ben van Duin
Child with doll
Anna Bolena | Photo: Ben van Duin
A group of terrified people
Anna Bolena | Photo: Ben van Duin

Partners Dutch National Opera Studio