I was so stunned by Elisabetta's appearance that I really had to concentrate to listen to her. I understand she was made up to look like an aging kewpie doll to make Maria in her pilgrim-like dress look good by contrast, but the result was just too grotesque for words. And van der Heever walks like a hippopotamus.

DiDonato was superb, wasn't she? That was a very special kind of singing, and I loved every note of it. But I can't agree Maria Stuarda is a better opera than Lucia.