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9, 10, 13, 15, 16, 18 April 2008
Gaetano Donizetti
Anna Bolena
Tragedy in two acts. Libretto by Felice Romani

Conductor Marco Guidarini
Director Graham Vick
Set and Costume Designs Paul Brown
Lighting Giuseppe Di Iorio
Assistant Director Stefano Trespidi
Assistant Set and Costume Designer Elena Cicorella
Teatro Massimo Orchestra and Chorus

Production by Fondazione Teatro Filarmonico di Verona and Fondazione Teatro Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste


Enrico VIII Giacomo Prestia April 9, 13, 16, 18
Riccardo Zanellato April 10, 15
Anna Bolena Mariella Devia April 9, 13, 16, 18
Alexia Voulgaridou April 10, 15
Giovanna di Seymour Laura Polverelli April 9, 13, 16, 18
Anna Smirnova April 10, 15
Lord Rochefort Ugo Guagliardo
Lord Riccardo Percy Fernando Portari April 9, 13, 16, 18
Robert Nagy April 10, 15
Smeton Manuela Custer April 9, 13, 16, 18
José Maria Lo Monaco April 10, 15
Sir Hervey Amedeo Moretti

Wednesday 9 April 2008 Turno Prime at 8.30 pm
Thursday 10 April 2008 Turn S1 at 6.30 pm
Sunday 13 April 2008 Turn D h 17.30
Tuesday 15 April 2008 Turn F at 8.30 pm
Wednesday 16 April 2008 Turn B at 6.30 pm
Friday 18 April 2008 Turn C at 6.30 pm


Running time: 3 hours and 30 minutes

First act -
1 hour and 40 minutes
Interval - 20 minutes
Second act - 90 minutes

Act I
Henry VIII’s court is in a state of great anxiety. Courtiers murmur that the Queen, Anne Boleyn, is distressed at the behaviour of her inconstant husband. The latest object of the King’s desires is Jane Seymour, the Queen’s lady-in-waiting. These events frighten the court, just as the Queen’s vulnerability frightens them. This sense of unease is heightened by the ballad sung by the page and musician Smeton at the request of the Queen. The King and Jane Seymour now enter and this meeting ushers in the impending tragedy. The King, offended by Jane’s refusal to become his lover, promises to divorce his wife and marry her instead. In order to have the grounds for a divorce, he will accuse Anne of having been in love with another man throughout the course of their marriage. The exiled Lord Richard Percy has been recalled to England by the King. Percy confides to Lord Rochefort, Anne’s brother, that this return is harder than exile. The King warmly welcomes the exile Percy but, in secret, orders that he is kept under surveillance. Percy and the Queen are emotionally affected by the presence of each other and it is clear that there is a romantic attachment between them from the past. The page Smeton waits alone in the Queen’s apartments. He is secretly in love with Anne himself and has a miniature of her in his possession. As Anne and her brother, Rochefort, enter, he hides behind a curtain. At Rochefort’s suggestion, Anne agrees to receive Percy, but rejects, even while sharing, the love the young man holds for her. At the same time, she is conscious that the King is about to reject her. Because of Anne’s rejection, Percy is about to kill himself with his sword when Smeton comes out from his hiding place and intervenes. The Kings enters with his entourage, including his new love, Jane, and accuses Anne of adultery and his accusation appears to be endorsed by the discovery of the miniature of Anne in Smeton’s possession. The King sends Anne for trial, while Percy is convinced that Smeton is a successful rival for the Queen’s affections.

Act II
Jane asks the Queen to confess to adultery, thus making the King’s divorce possible and, in return, her life will be spared. Anne refuses, cursing the new and unknown favourite of the King. When Jane confesses to be that person and asks to be forgiven – declaring herself to be powerless to oppose the will of the King – Anne turns her curse upon Henry VIII and retires. Percy and Anne are about to stand trial. Percy has been implicated in the accusation by the confession of Smeton, who naively believed he could save the life of Anne by claiming to have committed adultery with her, in order to give the King the pretext he needs. The Queen asks her husband to have her killed rather than undergo the humiliation of a public trial. Percy states that he loved (and still loves) Anne and this love was reciprocated by her before she loved the King: she is, therefore, his by right. Anne, in turn, confirms this, declaring that she is guilty of only one fault: that of having chosen marriage to the King in preference to her love for the young lord. Finally, Percy reveals that he was her husband before she married the King. The King will not listen to Jane who implores him to spare Anne, but reserves the right of pardon on the sentences handed down by the Council of Lords. Percy, Rochefort, and Anne have been condemned to death. Both men refuse the King’s pardon when they realise this does not extend to Anne Boleyn. Anne appears possessed by the hallucination of an impossible flight from her marriage into Percy’s arms. Then the sound of bells and a salvo of cannons are heard as the marriage of Henry VIII to Jane Seymour is celebrated. Anne Boleyn pardons them both before losing consciousness and dying.



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Foto Franco Lannino ©Studio Camera