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Larger than life opera, Maria Stuarda Donizetti

Opera is grand, histrionic, and now accessible. Thanks to the tie-up between the National Institute of Performing Arts (NCPA) and the New York’s prestigious Metropolitan Opera (MET), the tragic opera, Maria Stuarda—Donizetti will be screened at the NCPA today.

Maria Stuarda is an opera in two acts, by Gaetano Donizetti, to a libretto (the text used for an extended musical work) by Giuseppe Bardari, based on Andrea Maffei’s translation of Friedrich Schiller’s 1800 play Maria Stuart. It premiered on December 30, 1835 at La Scala in Milan.

Deepa Gehlot, head of programming at the NCPA says the screening will be recorded when the opera plays at New York. She adds that you don’t really need to be initiated into the art form. “This is the next best thing to watching the opera in New York. And the form is universal — with the help of subtitles, you can understand the opera just as well. In India, we have the culture of the natya sangeet, so the form will not be lost to the audience in any way.”

Gehlot says she is surprised at the interest expressed by the city in opera. “In Mumbai, we have not grown up with the opera, and I expected more seniors to be interested. But these days, I see youngsters as immersed in opera as anyone else. The opera’s appeal lies in the storytelling, some fantastic singing and grand sets. The opera has roamed the world with civilisation, and that’s what makes it so wonderful.”

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