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Minnesota Opera ushers in cycle of Tudor-based operas

We just can’t seem to get enough of the Tudors. Showtime’s star-studded series about a sexy, vicious Henry VIII and his many wives is in its fourth (and final) season.

We just can’t seem to get enough of the Tudors. Showtime’s star-studded series about a sexy, vicious Henry VIII and his many wives is in its fourth (and final) season. The historical novels of Jean Plaidy, Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir and Hilary Mantel explore every psychological, social and political nook and cranny of English dynasty, and are bestsellers.

This weekend, the Minnesota Opera enters the fray with the first installment in Gaetano Donizetti’s trilogy of operas based on the Tudor queens, “Roberto Devereux.” The Bel Canto work features Brenda Harris as a cougar Queen Elizabeth loving and loathing her younger paramour, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, (Portuguese tenor Bruno Ribeiro, in his Minnesota Opera debut).

To see the Opera’s commercial, go here

The period-inspired set design supports the opera’s historic and Bel Canto style, a lighter, more agile style of singing than Western audiences are used to hearing, filigreed with vocal ornamentation. Donizetti’s cycle continues next season with his opera about Mary Stuart, and in 2011-2012 with Anne Boleyn.

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Various times, Saturday through Feb. 7. Ordway, St. Paul. $20-$200. 612-333-6669.