Suzanne Chaundy talks about staging Donizetti’s Tudor Queens ahead of the final instalment, Roberto Devereux.

Following on from her Maria Stuardain 2015 and Anna Bolenain 2016 for Melbourne Opera, director Suzanne Chaundy is now delivering her third instalment in the so-called Donizetti Tudor Trilogy, made famous by great bel canto interpreters such as Beverly Sills, Leyla Gencer and most recently Sondra Radvanovsky. An undeniable star vehicle, Roberto Devereuxis loosely based on the affair between Queen Elizabeth I and the eponymous Earl of Essex. Taking on the queen this time round is rising star Helena Dix, whose Elsa in Melbourne Opera’s Lohengrinearlier this year won great acclaim.

Melbourne Opera’s  Anna Bolena.

“Elizabeth is definitely the same person in Maria Stuardaas Roberto Devereux,” Chaundy reflects. “We are seeing her at a different stage of her life and in a different situation. According to history, the setting of Stuardais roughly 10 years earlier than Roberto. In Devereuxwe see an older woman holding onto her hopes to rekindle the excitement and passion of her youth, whilst maintaining control over her kingdom....