Roberto Devereux educator materials

Music by Gaetano Donizetti


History belongs to her. But does her heart?

Queen Elizabeth's rule over her nation is ironclad, but a secret passion threatens to consume her. At court, the Earl of Essex faces whispers of treason amidst rumors about his relationship with the Queen. She must decide whether to sign his death warrant in an impossible choice between love and country.

Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano

Sung in Italian with English supertitles


Palace intrigue involving Queen Elizabeth I and her ex-lover Roberto Devereux, the Earl of Essex, ends in a deadly power play.

Read Complete Synopsis ›


Cast and Creative

Elisabetta (Elizabeth I) Sondra Radvanovsky
Roberto Devereux Russell Thomas
Sara Jamie Barton
Duke of Nottingham Artur Ruciński
Lord Cecil Amitai Pati
Walter Raleigh Christian Pursell *
Conductor Riccardo Frizza
Director Stephen Lawless
Set Designer Benoit Dugardyn
Costume Designer Ingeborg Bernerth
Lighting Designer Christopher Akerlind
Chorus Director Ian Robertson

*  San Francisco Opera debut

A Canadian Opera Company production.


Previous performances of Roberto Devereux can be found in our Archive.

The Buzz


 “Ms. Radvanovsky’s technical command in this daunting Donizetti role was flawless. She is a true inheritor to the Callas approach to Bel Canto repertory in that she seizes upon these works as powerful and personal music dramas.”
–The New York Times

“This absolutely thrilling production of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux puts the ‘grand’ back into ‘grand opera.’”
Toronto Star

Jamie Barton is “a leader of a new generation of opera stars.”
The New York Times

Photo (top): Canadian Opera Company production of Roberto Devereux/Michael Cooper.