Small picture of Donizetti



Donizetti's Anna Bolena

Opera Seria,  Royal Northern College of Music Opera Theatre,

Manchester, June 15 & 16, 2012.

Photographs courtesy of Opera Seria.


Opera Seria is a newly formed company of young singers and musicians.  Their first production was Donizetti's Anna Bolena.  They plan to follow up its successful performance with Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereux in 2013.

The company has provided the following summary:

As the debut production for a small opera company set up by a young soprano and an even younger conductor, Anna Bolena seems an ambitious choice.  Jildy Sauce says “Donizetti’s Anna Bolena may seem a strange choice for a debut, but it paid off royally: we got passion, intrigue, violence, despair, everything you’d hope for in an opera.  […]  Virtually every scene was an occasion for song and the singers – all of them – easily held their own.”  Bachtrack says “Sung in Italian, it was a grand and admirably ambitious choice for a new and probably cash-strapped opera company formed only last year.”

Of the company, Opera Seria, Bachtrack continues:  “it was able to prove its worth on a much larger scale [..] by tangling with a substantial work with three-dimensional principals which must have the finest singers.”  Of the lead, Rochelle Hart singing Anna, Bachtrack says: “Rochelle Hart is such a singer. [..] she copes brilliantly with the dauntingly demanding title role, establishing a strong, regal presence from the start as she observes the sadness of the courtiers and mentions her troubles to Giovanna (Jane). By the time [..] she wanders about in the Mad Scene [..] she has us completely conquered. “


The Team


Anna Bolena – Rochelle Hart

Enrico VIII – Dmitry Yumashev

Giovanna Seymour – Benedetta Orsi

Mark Smeton – Heather Lupton

Lord Riccardo Percy – Richard Hansen

Lord Rochefort – Marco Bellasi

Hervey – Adam Player



Conductor – Jonathan Lo

Director, set and lighting – Philip Sweet

Costumes – Rochelle Hart, Heather Lupton and Benedetta Orsi

Stage Manager – Mel Purves

Chorus Master – Marco Bellasi




Heather Lupton as Smeton



Richard Hansen as Lord Percy



Benedetta Orsi as Giovanna Seymour



Dmitry Yumashev as Enrico VIII, with Adam Player as Hervey



Anna and Henry



Rochelle Hart as Anna Bolena





© Donizetti Society and contributors, 2004-2012