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Airs Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 12 p.m. on KPBS TV

Joyce DiDonato as the title character and Matthew Polenzani as Leicester in D...

Credit: Courtesy of Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Above: Joyce DiDonato as the title character and Matthew Polenzani as Leicester in Donizetti's "Maria Stuarda."

Joyce DiDonato stars as Mary, Queen of Scots in the first-ever Met production of Gaetano Donizetti’s dramatic historical opera "Maria Stuarda."

South African soprano Elza van den Heever makes her Met debut as Mary’s rival, the formidable Queen Elizabeth I, and Matthew Polenzani sings Leicester, the nobleman caught between the dueling monarchs.

Maurizio Benini conducts a cast that also includes Matthew Rose as Talbot, Mary’s jailer, and Joshua Hopkins as Elizabeth’s advisor Cecil.

The production is by David McVicar, who also staged last season’s broadcast of Donizetti’s Tudor drama "Anna Bolena." Soprano Deborah Voigt hosts and conducts backstage interviews with the stars.

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GP at the Met: Maria Stuarda Preview

The first-ever Met production of Donizetti’s opera stars Joyce DiDonato as Mary, Queen of Scots with South African soprano Elza van den Heever as Elizabeth I, Mary’s formidable rival, and Matthew Polenzani as the Earl of Leicester. "Maria Stuarda" airs on PBS Sunday, July 14 at 12 p.m. (check local listings).

Maria Stuarda: "Figlia impura di Bolena"

Joyce DiDonato (Mary), Elza van den Heever (Elizabeth), Matthew Polenzani (Leciester) perform the Act I finale from Donizetti's "Maria Stuarda."

Maria Stuarda: "Deh! Tu di un'umile preghiera"

Joyce DiDonato performs Mary's prayer from Act II of Donizetti's "Maria Stuarda."

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