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 47 minutes including one intermission

Open Curtain Intermission

Sunday, September 23

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
Tuesday 09/11/18 7:30PM *
Friday 09/14/18 7:30PM
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 15% 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.


Extravagant vocal majesty and theatrical intelligence...

San Francisco Chronicle

[Radvanovsky is] …a world-beating singer at the very apex of her artistry.

San Francisco Chronicle

[Barton's singing is] so irresistible.

San Francisco Chronicle



Program Articles

Royal Fireworks

Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece Roberto Devereux offers one of opera’s most compelling portraits of Queen Elizabeth I.

Director's Note

Read a note from Director Stephen Lawless.

The Real People in Roberto Devereux

Learn more about the historical characters portrayed in Donizetti's opera.


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 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 Benoît 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.



Pre-Opera Talks

Free to Ticketholders

For every performance, join us in the Orchestra section 55 minutes prior to curtain.

The Expert: Marcia Green

Learn about the opera’s music, characters, composer and historical background.


Keith and Priscilla Geeslin; and Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, through the Conductors Fund; and Joan & David Traitel, through the Great Singers 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.