Roberto Devereux

Music by Gaetano Donizetti


History belongs to her. But does her heart?

Queen Elizabeth's rule over her nation is ironclad, but a secret passion threatens to consume her. At court, the Earl of Essex faces whispers of treason amidst rumors about his relationship with the Queen. She must decide whether to sign his death warrant in an impossible choice between love and country.

Production New to San Francisco Opera

Meet the Cast

Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

See a Performance

Running Time

Approximately 2 hours 40 minutes including one intermission

Who Should See It

Fans of Norma, The Crown, The Tudors, Queen Elizabeth, Great divas, The Royal Family and historical dramas.

Found in series

Full Series: A, D*, G, J, M, R*
Half Series: C, E*, H, K, O, T*
Out of Town Series: OT1, OT2, OT3
*Best Value Series


Saturday 09/08/18 7:30PM Buy Tickets
Tuesday 09/11/18 7:30PM * Buy Tickets
Friday 09/14/18 7:30PM Buy Tickets
Tuesday 09/18/18 7:30PM Buy Tickets
Sunday 09/23/18 2:00PM * Buy Tickets
Thursday 09/27/18 7:30PM * Buy Tickets

Select three or more operas to save up to 40% off individual tickets and unlock exclusive subscriber benefits. Choose from our curated Half or Full Series or design your own package today.


* OperaVision, HD video projection screens featured in the Balcony level for this performance, is made possible by the Koret/Taube Media Suite.

The Buzz


 “Ms. Radvanovsky’s technical command in this daunting Donizetti role was flawless. She is a true inheritor to the Callas approach to Bel Canto repertory in that she seizes upon these works as powerful and personal music dramas.”
–The New York Times

“This absolutely thrilling production of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux puts the ‘grand’ back into ‘grand opera.’”
Toronto Star

Jamie Barton is “a leader of a new generation of opera stars.”
The New York Times


Palace intrigue involving Queen Elizabeth I and her ex-lover Roberto Devereux, the Earl of Essex, ends in a deadly power play.

Read Complete Synopsis ›


Cast and Creative

Elisabetta (Elizabeth I) Sondra Radvanovsky
Roberto Devereux Russell Thomas
Sara Jamie Barton
Duke of Nottingham Andrew G. Manea
Lord Cecil Amitai Pati
Walter Raleigh Christian Pursell *


September 8, 11, 14, 18, 23, 27, 2018

Conductor Riccardo Frizza
Director Stephen Lawless
Set Designer Benoit Dugardyn
Costume Designer Ingeborg Bernerth
Lighting Designer Christopher Akerlind
Chorus Director Ian Robertson

*  San Francisco Opera debut

A Canadian Opera Company production.


Previous performances of Roberto Devereux can be found in our Archive.


Keith and Priscilla Geeslin; and Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, through the Conductors Fund.

Background image


Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci

Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci

September 7–30, 2018



October 3–30, 2018



June 9–27, 2019

Photo (top): Canadian Opera Company production of Roberto Devereux/Michael Cooper.