The recently-refurbished Opéra Royal de Wallonie dominates the Place de l’Opéra in the Belgian city of Liège, not only with its imposing columned portico but with its new fly-tower which rears above it. Inside, the auditorium has been restored to its former Italianate splendour, and is greatly enhanced by newly-installed stage equipment. This is all good news for Liège’s opera-goers, who, from the evidence of a Sunday matinée performance of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, are a discerning, discriminating and smartly-turned-out lot. The theatre is the ideal size (about 1000 seats) for bel canto, and we were rewarded by some excellent singing and a clever, stripped-down staging which had previously appeared in Rome and in Bergamo.