Anna Bolena

        Anna Bolena        

Tragedia lirica by Gaetano Donizetti
From the 22th of October to the 11th of November 2021

The executioner is, I believe, very expert; and my neck is very slender.

credited to Anne Boleyn on 18 May 1536, one day before her execution

Info & Cast


Info & Cast

Tragedia lirica by Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Felice Romani
First performed in Milan in 1830
First time at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva

22, 26, 29 October 2021 – 7.30pm
1, 4, 11* November 2021 – 7.30pm
7* November 2021 – 3pm

* audio description available

Musical Director Stefano Montanari
Stage Director Mariame Clément
Scenography & costumes Julia Hansen
Lighting Designer Ulrik Gad
Dramaturgy Clara Pons
Choir director Alan Woodbridge

Anna Bolena Elsa Dreisig
Enrico VIII Alex Esposito
Riccardo Percy Edgardo Rocha
Giovanna Seymour Stephanie d’Oustrac
Smeton Cecilia Molinari
Lord Rochefort Michael Mofidian
Sir Hervey Julien Henric

Grand Théâtre de Genève Chorus
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

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Anne Boleyn was one of the wives of Henry VIII, Henry Tudor, the man who inspired the myth of Bluebeard and the king who instigated the schism between the Anglican and Catholic churches. Accused by her husband of adultery and high treason, she was beheaded in 1536. She was the mother of Queen Elizabeth I. Stories of the Tudor dynasty are still the bread and butter of many biopics and series today. But one might also ask what is the point of telling the same story over and over again? Far from “historical realism” or Hollywood psychoanalysis, the Mariame Clément/Julie Hansen duo makes us take a peep through the keyhole at a Tudor/Donizetti trilogy unlike any other and which we will pursue over the course of the next three seasons. Even before going into the sequels, there will be no throwback to the time of Anne Boleyn, nor to the political and religious wars that bloodied England for nearly a century, nor into the pre-romantic imagination that fed Donizetti and his contemporaries, and even less into a dramatic decoding à la Schiller! No, what expects us is a plunge into an abstract painting. Or even into a multitude of abstract paintings. And although fortunately for our ears and our attention, not everything is synchronised, times and perspectives will overlap. Dramatic duets and trios, narrow triangles that narrow even further, follow one another in a Holbein blue palace setting where the walls rise up over Nature that seems to look in from the outside. More than an escape, it offers the characters the invisible kindness of time and, in a sudden flow of space, the labyrinth of time multiplies the recurring scenes, memories, parallels, dreams and fantasies. The palace’s rooms become the antechambers of the gaze. Is it ours or Queen Elizabeth’s, a ghostly prisoner of her own existence, or is this just the art of operatic storytelling?  Soprano Elsa Dreisig in the title role and mezzo Stéphanie d’Oustrac as her friend and rival Jane Seymour, two French opera stars who are trying their hand at bel canto for the first time, will lead us through what has become known as the ‘trilogy’ of the master of Bergamo, playing the main roles in Maria Stuarda and then Roberto Devereux in the upcoming seasons. Bass-baritone Alex Esposito, himself from Bergamo, and the young tenor Edgardo Rocha, Prince Charming in our recent Cenerentola, will take on the roles of the tyrannical husband and the languid lover respectively. Stefano Montanari, whose Cenerentola was taken from us by the first COVID lockdown, will finally be at our side to conduct this immersive adventure in the Donizetti universe.


Anna at La Plage

Apéropéra 07.10.2021
Brunch #1 10.10.2021
Public workshop 16.10.2021
Conference 20.10.2021
Duel #1 21.10.2021
En coulisse 29.10.2021
Intropéra 45 minutes before each performance


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