Divara Productions & Mary Queen of Scots Society to Make UK Premiere of ‘Rival Queens’ Film

By Logan Martell

On December 8, 2021, Divara Productions will premiere its independent film “Rival Queens.” The film is presented in partnership with the Mary Queen of Scots Society, and will take place on the late queen’s birthday.

This operatic documentary has been recognized by 14 international film festivals, and won six awards. Featuring music from Donizetti’s “Maria Stuarda,” the film also draws upon primary sources such as Mary and Queen Elizabeth’s letters, to explore their relationship more fully.

The cast features mezzo-soprano Anna Tonna as Queen Elizabeth I, soprano Ashley Galvani Bell as Mary Queen of Scots, Michal Gizinski as the narrator, and tenor Andrew Owens as Leicester. The film is directed by Anton Armendariz Diaz, and music directed by Sergio Martinez Zangroniz.

Divara Productions describes the work as “a historic metaphor for the tragedy of judgment and choosing fear over trust, painting a powerful picture of the destruction that the naked push for power leaves in its wake. The documentary opera’s themes of power and femininity, and whether these two dynamics can be reconciled are topics we continue to explore today, and which merit re-examination through the lens of time. Tudor England is in many ways reminiscent of all the strife in our own society and the struggle for differing voices to be heard. We hope that learning about this story can inspire members of the community to learn more about and understand each other in order to prevent future conflict and encourage cooperation.”

Information on how to view the film can be found on the company’s official’s website.