King Enrico VIII has fallen in love with Giovanna Seymour, lady-in-waiting to his current wife, Anna Bolena. He has been unhappy with Anna for a long time, and has devised a plot to ensure he can remove her from the throne and annul their marriage. If he has to, he will go as far as having his wife executed. All he needs is to catch her in a compromising position.
Knowing of the history between Anna and Lord Percy, Enrico invites Lord Percy back to England out of his exile and offers him the freedom of the castle. He sets Signor Hervey the task of watching Percy and Anna, for any moments of transgression. It is not long before Anna and Percy are caught having a private conversation, facilitated by Lord Rochefort, Anna’s brother, and spied on by Smeton, the court musician. Enrico is delighted, he has plenty of evidence to remove his wife, and leaves the sentencing up to the council.
As the first installment of Donizetti’s Tudor Queens Trilogy, Anna Bolena is a beautiful period drama, set in Tudor England, where power and passion have more control over royalty than morality and honor.
Anna Bolena guide sections