Anna Bolena, Longborough Festival Opera, June 2019Posted on 25 June 2019
This opera about Anne Boleyn was Donizetti’s first big success in 1830, and under the excellent baton of Jeremy Silver singers and orchestra came together to bring it fully to life. During the overture we see a silent mime where a queen removes her crown and her jewels, observed by a noble lady in a green dress. This is Catherine of Aragon, about to be replaced Anne, later supplanted by Jane Seymour. For the Italians, the Tudors represented an absolutist form of government, where power could and did corrupt those who wielded it, with executions extending all the way up to the queen herself — see my review in The Article.