"London, 1601: love, lust and a death sentence at the English royal court - that's just the mix for great Italian opera. "Roberto Devereux" - an opera for a sovereign, a work for Edita Gruberová! The prima donna assoluta of bel canto triumphs in this drama. Either an opera house can acquire the services of "la Gruberová" - or they can forget putting on this opera." - Bavarian State Opera
With "Roberto Devereux", Donizetti and his librettist Cammarano tried to bring a natural portrait of the last Tudor Queen of England to the stage. Drawn on British history, especially the intrigues and love affairs, they created highly vivid and sensitive characters in their typical Italian romantic adaptation. According to Gaëtano Donizetti's under- standing of the vocal line as a psychogram and thus breaking through the conventional boundaries of bel canto opera, Christof Loy staged a psychological chamber play at the Bavarian State Opera in the season 2005.
Gifted for creating the extraordinary out of apparently ordinary situations, Loy presents a political drama that goes right to the foundations of the characters. Renouncing the pathos of an opulent, historic costume and set design, jealousy, anger, pride, love, incapacity, and hopelessness work here unvarnished and with directness (set & costume design: Herbert Murauer).
Edita Grubervá performs an exceptional Elisabetta - vocally as well as dramatically, and she is well supported by Roberto Aronica as the Earl of Essex; in the role of Sara: Jeanne Piland's with her warm, fervid mezzo, and Albert Schagidullin as the Duke of Nottingham. Friedrich Haider conducts, in superior style, a very supple playing Bavarian State Orchestra.
"Roberto Devereux" is available on DVD, together with two making-of films by Christian K. Weiß: "Behind the Opera" - a film revealing the artists' intentions, plus: "From Stage to Screen" - giving insight into the production process of an opera recording for TV/DVD.