La favorite PROMO


La favorite

Gaetano Donizetti

2h 36m
German , Spanish , French , English

Donizetti’s La Favorite at the Bayerische Staatsoper comes up with a cast of outstanding belcanto singers: star mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča as seducing Léonor de Guzman, Matthew Polenzani as her desperate lover Fernand and Mariusz Kwiecień as King Alphonse. Numerous myths surround the historical figure of Léonore de Guzman, mistress of King Alfons XI of Castile, who becomes embroiled within an intrigue-laced political power play. Léonore, whose love for the King is revealed to be a farce, flinges herself upon the young Fernand, who, for her sake, has eschewed the life of a monk in Santiago de Compostela. Yet, he is unaware of her status as a mistress, thus allowing the pair to become victims of a conspiratorial trial of strength between church and state, which in the end denies the couple even the hope of a joint future after death.


Amélie Niermeyer transforms the tragedy of the female role torn between spiritual and secular values into “a concentrated and intense drama [...] with high acting quality” (Münchner Merkur). This contrast is highlighted by enormous architectural box structures that continually transport the characters between the convent and the royal palace, emphasizing the influence each party has on the current scene.


The “fabulous Elīna Garanča [...] sings beautifully and emotionally restrained, leaving the audience deeply moved during her dying scene”, while Matthew Polenzani, in his debut as Fernand, scores with superb singing and acting, “reaching high tones with ease” (Süddeutsche Zeitung). Mariusz Kwiecień “convinces with the proper dandified arrogance and impressive acting”, while conductor Karel Mark Chichon completes the musically fantastic performance by “getting the most out of the Bayerisches Staatsorchester, impressively bringing out the dark, viscous sounds of the score and following the soloists with great intuition” (BR Klassik).


This title is available in Spain and Latin America, only for subscribers.

Opera in four acts

Libretto by Alphonse Ryoyer, Gustav Vaëz and Eugène Scribe

Bayerische Staatsoper

Bayerisches Staatsorchester & Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper

Artistic team

Conductor | Karel Mark Chichon

Stage Director | Amélie Niermeyer

Chorus Master | Sören Eckhoff



Léonor de Guzman | Elīna Garanča

Fernand | Matthew Polenzani

Alphonse XI | Mariusz Kwiecień

Balthazar | Mika Kares

Don Gaspard | Joshua Owen Mills

Inès | Elsa Benoit


Wiener Staatsoper
Gaetano Donizetti
Evelino Pidò, Enric Genovese
Teatro Real
Gaetano Donizetti
Bruno Campanella, Alessandro Talevi
Donizetti Opera Festival
Gaetano Donizetti
Riccardo Frizza, Maria Pilar Pérez Aspa
Opéra National de Paris
Gaetano Donizetti
Laurent Pelly, Edward Gardner
Salzburg Festival
R. Wagner, A. Bruckner
Christian Thielemann & Elīna Garanča
Teatro Real
Gaetano Donizetti
Evelino Pidò, Laurent Pelly
Teatro Real
Gaetano Donizetti
Daniel Oren, David Alden