Act first. Palace of Westminster
Elizabeth receives a letter from the King of France, in which he asks for her hand to his brother the Duke of Anjou. At the same time the king asks release from prison and sent to France Mary Stewart, who for many years in the castle lies Fotheringham on charges of attempted English throne. Also requests for Mary Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury. Speaks strongly against Lord Cecil. Much will depend on the position of the royal favorite, the Earl of Leicester. Elizabeth leaves Leicester with the court. Talbot asks Lester to support the release of Mary and for this to arrange a personal meeting with Mary Elizabeth. Lester agrees. All but Lester go. Elizabeth returns. After a long explanation of Elizabeth Lester can convince yourself - she will meet with Mary and then decide its fate.
Act II. Castle Park Fotheringham
Mary and her court lady Anna Kennedy walks through the park. Beautiful spring day in the soul creates hope for a possible prisoner release. From afar, hear the sounds of the approaching cavalcade of hunters. Herald reports that the Queen Elizabeth. Included Lester. He tells Mary that gave a chance meeting like Elizabeth with her and begs Mary to humble their pride and on their knees praying for release. The only way to achieve the mercy of Elizabeth. Elizabeth enters, accompanied by Talbot, Cecil and courtiers. Mary kneels. Elizabeth gives her hand to kiss. It seems just about reconciliation takes place, but provoking Elizabeth Cecil, and she puts Mary ridicule, lists her lovers, accused of organizing the murder of her husband. Mary pride offended. She throws Elizabeth worst for that accusation that she was not the daughter of Henry, as her mother, Anne Boleyn was convicted of adultery and executed for it, and the king, Henry questioned the origin of Elizabeth. Reconciliation is no longer possible. Elizabeth leaves in anger. Mary taken into custody.
Act III. Scene one. Cabinet Elizabeth
Cecil insists that Elizabeth signed the death warrant for Mary. Elizabeth hesitates. Lester enters and asks pardon Mary. Then Cecil Lester blames the fact that he is intriguing in favor of Mary, because he decided to help her take the throne of England to marry her, and thus become king. Enraged Elizabeth signed the execution order of Mary.
Act III. Scene Two. Mary`s room
Lord Cecil and Talbot bring Mary to death. Following his announcement of the Queen asks Talbot to stay: she feels a sense of respect for him. Maria inconsolable: approaching death, and the ghosts of past sins disturb her, she now and then imagining her shadow secretary Riccio, who was murdered by her husband. Lord Talbot reveals the secret that is hidden from everyone at the court: he - a Catholic priest. Maria confesses his sins, sloth, pride, and suesloviya, said he wanted a union with gentleman Babington kill Elizabeth and escape from prison. Talbot let her sins and received the Holy Sacraments.
Act III. Scene Three. Great hall in the castle Fotheringham
The court of Mary mourning his queen. Includes Anna. She is in despair. Maria appears. She walks with her head held in a royal robe and crown. Solemnly she says goodbye with his courtiers, with Anna, thanks for your service. Appear Cecil, Talbot and Leicester. Mary Talbot and Leicester thanks for the help with contempt meets Cecil, predicts the imminent end of the reign of Elizabeth to the throne and the return of the legitimate Stuarts. All shocked royal grandeur of Mary. It is led off to execution.
Premiered on December 30, 1835 in Milan at La Scala. Opera came under the prohibition of censorship in 1836 and performed almost to the middle of the twentieth century.