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Roberto Devereux

Roberto Devereux

Gaetano Donizetti

2 disc set

CD £28.99


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PDF booklet included free (full album only)

- £16.99


MP3 file at maximum MP3 quality i.e. 320 kbps per second. Will play in nearly all media players in Windows and Apple.

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FLAC 16 bit

Open-source format, here at 16 bit i.e. lossless CD quality. Will play in VLC player (free to download from Can be converted to MP3.

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ALAC 16 bit

Apple format, here at 16 bit i.e. lossless CD quality; this is better than MP3 320 kbps. Will play in iTunes. Can be converted to MP3.

The lives of British monarchs from Alfred the Great to the Tudors and Stuarts held a special fascination for 19th century composers – none more so that Gaetano Donizetti who wrote seven operas involving... read more

Song title Time Format Price
playstop01 Roberto Devereux: Act I: Sinfonia06:16
playstop02 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena I: Introduction: Prelude - Geme! ? Pallor funereo 02:41
playstop03 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena I: Romanza - All'afflitto e dolce il pianto - scena II: La regina! 03:42
playstop04 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena II: scena: Duchessa ? 03:17
playstop05 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena II: Aria: L'amor suo mi fe' beata - scena III: Nunzio son del Parlamento - scena IV: Al regio piede 04:14
playstop06 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena IV: Cabaletta: Ah! ritorna qual ti spero 03:44
playstop07 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena IV: scena: Donna reale a' piedi tuoi 04:41
playstop08 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena V: Andate: Un tenero core - mi rese felice 03:18
playstop09 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena V: Cabaletta: Un lampo, un lampo orribile 02:50
playstop10 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena VI: scena: Roberto! ? 03:10
playstop11 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena VI: Larghetto: Forse in quel cor sensibile - scena VII: Duca, vieni 04:07
playstop12 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena VII: Cabaletta: Qui ribelle ognun ti chiama 03:54
playstop13 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena VIII: scena: Tutto e silenzio! ? - scena IX: Una volta, o crudel 04:59
playstop14 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena IX: Larghetto: Dacche tornasti, ahi misera! 06:12
playstop15 Roberto Devereux: Act I scena IX: Agitato: Ah! quest'addio, fatale, estremo 02:52
playstop16 Roberto Devereux: Act II scena I: Introduction - L'ore trascorrono 03:39
playstop17 Roberto Devereux: Act II scena II: scena and Duet: Ebben? - scena III: Regina ? - scena IV: Non venni 09:06
playstop18 Roberto Devereux: Act II scena V: scena: Ecco l'indegno! 01:46
playstop19 Roberto Devereux: Act II scena V: Largo: Alma infida, ingrato core 04:03
playstop20 Roberto Devereux: Act II scena V: Allegro vivace: Scellerato! ? malvagio! - scena VI: Tutti udite 03:40
playstop21 Roberto Devereux: Act II scena VI: Stretta: Va, la morte sul capo ti pende 02:36
playstop22 Roberto Devereux: Act III scena I: scena: Ne riede ancora il mio consorte! - scena II: Duchessa! - scena III: Il duca! 04:06
playstop23 Roberto Devereux: Act III scena III: Allegro: Non sai che un nume vindice 04:15
playstop24 Roberto Devereux: Act III scena III: Agitato: All'ambascia ond'io mi struggo 03:09
playstop25 Roberto Devereux: Act III scena IV: scena: Ed ancor la tremenda porta 03:53
playstop26 Roberto Devereux: Act III scena IV: Aria: A te diro negli ultimi - scena V: Vieni, o conte 04:29
playstop27 Roberto Devereux: Act III scena V: Cabaletta: Bagnato il sen di lagrime 03:56
playstop28 Roberto Devereux: Act III scena VI: scena: E Sara in questi orribili momenti 04:05
playstop29 Roberto Devereux: Act III scena VI: Aria: Vivi, ingrato, a lei d'accanto - scena VII: Che m'apporti? - scena VIII: Questa gemma 06:55
playstop30 Roberto Devereux: Act III scena VIII: Cabaletta: Quel sangue versato al cielo sinnalza 05:42

The lives of British monarchs from Alfred the Great to the Tudors and Stuarts held a special fascination for 19th century composers – none more so that Gaetano Donizetti who wrote seven operas involving English kings and queens. This is a live recording of the concert performances’ given at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in July 2002. The main reason for this recording was to capture the vivid and compelling portrayal of Elisabetta by the great Nelly Miricioiu. The vocal and dramatic demands of the role take the artist from Mozartean delicacy right to the edge of Puccinian Verismo. This is definitely Nelly Miricioiu’s territory and as the defiant monarch she is in her element. But this is not just Miricioiu’s evening. Covent Garden gives us Roberto Frontali and Sonia Ganassi as Nottingham and his wife Sara, both in outstanding form, plus the excellent José Bros in the title role. Maurizio Benini guides the soloists, chorus and orchestra expertly through an exciting performance of one of Donizettis best scores.

Booklet includes complete libretto with English translation.

'The ever-enterprising Opera Rara sweeps the board with this new recording' - Penguin CD and DVD Guide

'Maurizio Benini leads the tightest of all the performances available, with brisk tempos, real tension in the confrontations, excitement and urgency in the ensembles. The orchestra and chorus are excellent, as is the sound' - Robert Levine,

Nelly Miricioiu (Elisabetta), José Bros (Roberto Devereux), Sonia Ganassi (Sara, Duchess of Nottingham), Roberto Frontali (Duke of Nottingham), Graeme Broadbent (Gualtiero), Robin Legatte (Cecil), Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Maurizio Benini – conductor




A hall in Westminster Palace.  The ladies of Elisabetta’s court have noticed that Sara, Duchess of Nottingham, the Queen’s favourite, is tearful and out of sorts.  She denies that anything is wrong, and blames the book she is reading, the tale of Fair Rosamond.  But under her breath she admits that her plight is far more pitiable than Rosamond’s…

The Queen enters, and tells her that, although Roberto, Earl of Essex, has returned from Ireland accused of treason, she has consented to receive him at court.   Her true concern, we realise, is not so much Roberto’s political affiliations as the fact that he may have betrayed her in love.  

Roberto is granted a private audience.   Elisabetta reproaches him with his conduct, but at the same time assures him that he is in no danger.   She reminds him that he wears her ring, and that she gave it to him with the promise that, if ever he were in danger of his life and sent it back to her, she would spare him.   She asks whether he still loves her, or whether she has been superseded in his affections by someone else.  Inadvertently Roberto half admits the existence of another woman in his life, but then, recovering himself, vigorously denies it.  Elisabetta is not convinced, and privately determines to be revenged both on him and on her unknown rival.

Roberto is eagerly embraced by his friend, the Duke of Nottingham, but in response can only flinch guiltily, for it is Sara with whom he is in love.  Nottingham speaks of his concern for Sara, and of his belief that there is some sadness weighing upon her which is slowly undermining her health.  

Summoned to the Parliament, Nottingham regretfully takes leave of his friend.   He declares his determination to defend him against the charges that have been brought against him.




The Duke of Nottingham’s palace, where Roberto pays Sara a secret visit.    He reproaches her for abandoning him in favour of Nottingham, but is mollified when she explains how, after his departure from London and the death of her father, she found herself forced by the Queen, despite her protests, to enter into her present unhappy marriage.    She urges him to reciprocate Elisabetta’s love, but, replying that he feels nothing for the Queen, he demonstrates his indifference by tossing the ring on to a table.   Sara pleads with him to leave England,  and gives him, as a final token, a blue silk scarf that she has been embroidering.





The hall in Westminster Palace, where Elisabetta’s courtiers await the outcome of the session of Parliament.   Cecil brings word that, despite Nottingham’s spirited defence, Roberto has been condemned to death.

Gualtiero, sent to arrest Roberto, returns with the news that he was absent all night, keeping some secret assignation, and that when he returned he was found to be carrying a love-token - a blue scarf…     Gualtiero hands it to the Queen.

Nottingham brings Roberto’s sentence for Elisabetta’s signature, but pleads with her to show clemency.   She replies that there is no longer any doubt of Roberto’s guilt.   She has him led in between guards, and confronts him with the scarf.    It is, of course, recognised by Nottingham, for he had seen Sara embroidering it only the night before, and his realisation of Roberto’s duplicity suddenly causes his friendship to change to hatred and a desire for revenge.  Elisabetta mistakenly thinks that this abrupt change of attitude is caused by resentment on her behalf - to see her so betrayed.   She denounces Roberto in the presence of her entire court, and he is led away under guard.






The apartments of the Duchess of Nottingham.   Sara receives a letter from Roberto, begging her to take his ring to the Queen, but before she can do so she is confronted by her husband.   He demands to see Roberto’s letter, and, after reading it, gives orders to his household that his wife is to be held prisoner.    Sara’s agony reaches its height when, from the window, she sees Roberto being conducted to the Tower.



The condemned cell in the Tower of London.   Roberto awaits the hour of execution, but, confident that Sara will have carried his ring to the Queen, still hopes to be reprieved.    When Gualtiero appears with a detachment of guards, he learns to his dismay that they have come to escort him to the scaffold.



In Westminster Palace an increasingly demoralised Elisabetta, her anger now spent, wonders why Roberto has not returned her ring.   She also laments that Sara should have deserted her in such a time of crisis, and has sent Gualtiero to fetch her.  

Eventually a dishevelled Sara appears and, confessing that she is the Queen’s unknown rival, holds out the ring.   The Queen orders the suspension of the execution, but before anyone can move, a cannon shot announces that it has already taken place.  

An exultant Nottingham claims responsibility for preventing Sara from bringing the ring sooner, and Elisabetta has both husband and wife arrested.   Distraught and horrified by what has happened, she declares that she abdicates the throne in favour of James of Scotland.

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