Anna Bolena

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Anna Bolena is an Italian opera in two acts. Gaetano Donizetti wrote the music to a libretto by Felice Romani. The opera was first performed in Milan, on December 26, 1830. Anna Bolena was Donizetti's thirty-third opera. It was his first major success, and the work that established his reputation in Europe. The opera was long neglected until it was revived to great acclaim by Maria Callas at La Scala in Milan in 1957. It has since been regularly performed, notably by Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballé and Beverly Sills.

Characters[change | change source]

  • Anna Bolena - soprano
  • Giovanna Seymour - mezzo-soprano
  • Enrico VIII - bass
  • Lord Percy - tenor
  • Smeaton - mezzo-soprano
  • Lord Rochfort - bass
  • Hervey - tenor

Plot[change | change source]

The action takes place in England in 1536. The opera relates the stormy relationship between King Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn, and the king's new romantic interest in Jane Seymour. Anne is accused of treason and adultery and executed to make way for Jane to become his third wife.

References[change | change source]

  • The Complete Dictionary of Opera & Operetta, James Anderson, Wings Books, 1993.