RIVAL QUEENS—A VIRTUAL OPERA BY DIVARIA PRODUCTIONS
The virtual world premiere of Divaria Productions’ original biopic opera Rival Queens tells the story of Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I, and features music from Donizetti’s opera Maria Stuarda with English subtitles. Originally scheduled to be performed in-person at Bay Street Theater, the virtual presentation was instead created and prepared on an intercontinental basis featuring a director, pianist, and actors located in Spain; a writer, soprano, mezzo-soprano and film crew in New York; a narrator from San Francisco; and a tenor in Chicago.
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. 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.