Mon. May 14, 3-4:30pm: Claudio Vellutini “”Staging the Prima Donna: Christoph Loy, Edita Gruberova, and Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux”

In his talk, Vellutini explores the burgeoning influence of Regietheater on bel canto operas by focusing on Christoph Loy’s 2005 production of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux. Relying on the distinctive personality of the prima donna Edita Gruberova and setting the opera in Thatcherite Britain, Loy creates a staging that blurs the boundaries between the operatic
character of Elizabeth I and Gruberova herself. Marketing strategies, and in particular Gruberova’s reputation in Central Europe as the “Queen of bel canto,” allowed Loy to re-
inscribe the expectations of the audience onto the concept of his production—-expectations directed at Gruberova’s performance and, ultimately, toward her status as a diva. By mapping the elderly Queen’s political authority onto the vocal authority of the ageing soprano, Loy invites a reading of Donizetti’s work in which the centrality of the singer is recognized as a potential source of creativity rather than as a limitation.

Light refreshments will be provided.