Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Maria Stuarda Heats Up Minnesota

Harris (l) and Hayworth (r) in full-throated family feud
"In Brenda Harris (Elizabeth) and Judith Howarth (Mary), Minnesota Opera has the two differentiated divas Donizetti demands. No one will confuse them. Harris, deservedly a company favorite, is an aging spitfire, regal even in her indecision -- she holds all the cards, and knows it. Her voice has an icy edge; her coloratura is a weapon. Howarth, though capable of a spine-awakening shriek, characteristically sings with melting lyricism. Her coloratura is laced with tenderness; she makes Mary's dubious transformation from charmer to martyr seem plausible. She's particularly affecting in her prayer, as is the splendid chorus (which is effectively deployed throughout this production)." [Source]

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