Donizetti's opera focusing on the rivalry between Mary, Queen of Scots and her cousin Queen Elizabeth I. Based on Friedrich Schiller's 1800 play 'Maria Stuart', the plot is derived from the estranged relationship between the two women and their eventual encounter. (Although, this meeting was dreamt up by Schiller, as in reality, they never actually met.)
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato sings the defiant title role, opposite Elza van den Heever, making her Met debut as Mary's rival; supported by a superb cast that includes Matthew Polenzani as Leicester, Joshua Hopkins as Cecil, and bass Matthew Rose as Talbot, the Earl of Shrewsbury.
The conductor is Maurizio Benini; directed by Sir David McVicar.
(Find your nearest cinema at http://Metopera.org.uk.)