Anna Bolena (2011) Wiener Staatsoper
Gaetano Donizetti and his librettist Felice Romani kept the focus of their opera ANNA BOLENA on the personal rather than the political in this fictionalized Tudor tale: Henry VIII of England wants to get rid of his second wife, Anne Boleyn, so that he can marry her lady-in-waiting, Jane Seymour. He brings Lord Richard Percy, Anne's first love, back from exile so that he can find an excuse to accuse her of adultery. With the unwitting aid of Smeaton, a court musician, and Lord Rochefort, Anne's brother, the trap is easily sprung. This 2011 live recording from the Wiener Staatsoper showcases Anna Netrebko as she "scored a personal triumph" in her debut as the hapless Tudor Queen, while her stage partners - notably Elīna Garanča as Jane Seymour and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as Henry VIII - were likewise showered with critical acclaim.