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Documentary Opera RIVAL QUEENS to be Presented with the Mary Queen of Scots Society


The production will take place in honor of Mary Queen of Scots' birthday on December 8th and it will be available to stream anywhere for 72 hours

Documentary Opera RIVAL QUEENS to be Presented with the Mary Queen of Scots Society

In honor of Mary Queen of Scot's Birthday on December 8th, Divara Productions' independent film Rival Queens, will be making its UK premiere in partnership with the Mary Queen of Scots Society.

After recognition from 14 different international film festivals including 6 awards, Rival Queens makes its UK premiere in partnership with the Mary Queen of Scots Society. This opera documentary, the first of its kind, tells the story of Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I and features music from Donizetti's opera Maria Stuarda. This biopic represents a new form of art that melds documentary film with the music of opera, which serves as the driving force of the story. The story draws on primary sources of the letters between these women-who never actually met in person-and historical research, culminating in original narration that connects the opera and the letters. In contrast to the opera Maria Stuarda, Rival Queens adds the dimension of the relationship of these two women throughout their entire life and not just the months immediately preceding Mary's execution.

Originally scheduled to appear in person at Bay Street in Sag Harbor, this production proved that the creative spirit was alive and flourishing in the heart of the pandemic. The virtual presentation was created and prepared on an intercontinental basis, in the midst of quarantine and travel restrictions, by director, pianist and actors in Spain, a writer, soprano, mezzo-soprano and film crew in New York, a narrator from San Francisco, and a tenor in Chicago. The show will go on!

Rival Queens is described by Divaria Productions as "a historic metaphor for the tragedy of judgment and choosing fear over trust, painting a powerful picture of the destruction that the naked push for power leaves in its wake. The documentary opera's themes of power and femininity, and whether these two dynamics can be reconciled are topics we continue to explore today, and which merit re-examination through the lens of time. Tudor England is in many ways reminiscent of all the strife in our own society and the struggle for differing voices to be heard. We hope that learning about this story can inspire members of the community to learn more about and understand each other in order to prevent future conflict and encourage cooperation."

Rival Queens features mezzo-soprano Anna Tonna as Queen Elizabeth I, soprano Ashley Galvani Bell as Mary Queen of Scots, Michal Gizinski as Narrator, and tenor Andrew Owens as Leicester. The film is directed by Anton Armendariz Diaz and musically directed by Sergio Martinez Zangroniz.

Rival Queens was made possible funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Huntington Arts Council.

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