Pacific Opera Victoria's MARIA STUARDA Opens April 12


Pacific Opera Victoria's 2011/12 season ends as the company presents Tracy Dahl and Sally Dibblee, two of Canada's accomplished divas, in MARIA STUARDA,  April 12, 14, 18, 20, and 22, 2012, at the Royal Theatre in Victoria.

Gaetano Donizetti's Italian twist on British history pits Mary Stuart, former Queen of Scotland and France and claimant to the throne of England, against her cousin, England's Elizabeth the First, in a face to face duel of divas.  So what if the feuding monarchs never met in real life! In MARIA STUARDA, Donizetti throws them together, concocts a love triangle, and lets the sparks fly. Shakespearean invective is hurled in purest bel canto; hatred and scorn are spun into silken, sinuous melody.

The rarely produced opera (never before presented on the west coast of Canada) offers a career defining opportunity for bel canto sopranos, requiring the height of vocal virtuosity.   Pacific Opera Victoria welcomes Tracy Dahl as Maria in her first appearance with the company, and welcomes the return of Sally Dibblee (POV's Madama Butterfly) as Elisabetta. Both artists are singing their roles for the first time.

A coloratura soprano, Tracy Dahl debuted at La Scala in 2006 and has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and the Châtelet in Paris, to name just a few. In 2009 she was awarded the prestigious Opera Canada Ruby Award.  

Soprano Sally Dibblee continues to grace stages and concert halls throughout North America, including the opera companies of Atlanta, Hamilton, Arizona, Utah, New Orleans, Louisville, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton; among many others.  

Mexican/American tenor Edgar Ernesto Ramírez brings his distinctive Italianate sound, his youthful exuberance, and his expressive musicality to the role of Leicester, the man who woos two Queens. He is joined by Stephen Hegedus (POV's Cosi fan Tutti) as Talbot and Andrew Love (POV's
Carmen) as Cecil.   Lisa DiMaria makes her company debut as Anna.

Pacific Opera Victoria's production begins in the present. As museum curators prepare an exhibition about Elizabethan England, history comes alive around them.  Stage Director Maria Lamont, set and costume designer Camellia Koo, and lighting designer Michael Walton make their POV debuts with this production. They have taken their inspiration from the historic mansions-turned-museums that populate the English countryside, and from portraits of Queen Elizabeth the First and Mary, Queen of Scots - the former recognizable to most in the audience, the latter more obscure.   Timothy Vernon, a recent recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, conducts the Victoria Symphony.

MARIA STUARDA opens on April 12 and continues on April 14, 18, and 20, 2012, with a matinée April 22, at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street in Victoria.  Evening performances begin at 8pm with pre-performance lectures at 7:00pm.  Matinée performance on April 22 begins at 2:30 pm, with pre- performance lecture at 1:30 pm. The opera is performed in Italian with English surtitles.

Priced between $37.50 and $142.50, including RMTS service charges, tickets are available from the Royal and McPherson Box Office at 250-386-6121, or online at