Created during Covid on an intercontinental basis with individuals in four different locations, Rival Queens tells the story of Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I. This biopic represents a new form of art that melds documentary film with the music of opera, which serves as the driving force of the story. It draws on the primary sources of the letters between these women, who never actually met in person, and historical research, culminating in narration that connects the letters with music from Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda. The story is 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.
"One of the best and most accurate documentaries about Mary Queen of Scots"!
- Member of the Mary Queen of Scots Society
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"When you watch this production, you go back centuries in time; you go behind closed doors and you go inside people's minds as they think, read and write. Then the powers of the voices of Ashley Galvani Bell and Anna Tonna capture you. It's a total success."
- TJ Clemente
"Muy bien entramada y ambientada.......Un documental que entretendrá y hará disfrutar a los amantes de la ópera y de la historia por igual.
- Michael Thallium
"Very well written and set...a documentary that will entertain and delight lovers of opera and history alike."
- Michael Thallium
Film directed by Antón Armendariz
Musically Directed by Sergio Martínez Zangróniz
Music from the opera Maria Stuarda by Gaetano Donizetti
Mary Queen of Scots: Ashley Bell
Elizabeth I: Anna Tonna
Narrator: Michal Gizinski
Leicester (tenor): Andrew Owens
James VI: Pablo Garcia Pascual
Leicester (actor): David del Rey
Pianist: Sergio Martinez Zangróniz
Cinematographer: Fabián Jiménez Asis
Assistant cinematographer: Dave Weinstein
Film Editing, CGI & Storyboard;: Andrés Hernández Pena (Draw&Music Studios)
Narrative Screenplay: Ashley Bell
Original Letters written by Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Stuart & James VI & edited by Ashley Bell & Gail Galvani Bell
Voice & Speech: Gail Galvani Bell
Costumes: TDF Costume Collection & Teatro Pobre (Logroño)
Wig Design & Styling: April Spain
Makeup: Zarielle Washington
Production Assistants: Karl Kessler, Ashley Quinn, Juan Armendáriz, Maria Rosa Díaz
New York: PPI Recording
Chicago: SHIRK Studios
Sound Mixing: Gurari Studios