The opera is a deft combination of frank emotionalism and flowing lyricism, with pseudo-historical spectacle.
Metropolitan Opera Season: Adriana Lecouvreur
Sunday 17 February 2019 at 6pm on RNZ Concert
Anna Netrebko (Adriana), Anita Rachvelishvili (Principessa), Piotr Beczala (Maurizio), Carlo Bosi (Abbé), Ambrogio Maestri (Michonnet), Maurizio Muraro (Prince de Bouillon), Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra conducted by Gianandrea Noseda
Adriana Lecouvreur occupies a unique place in the repertoire; largely dismissed by experts from its première to the present day yet cherished by its fans for the dramatic possibilities provided by the lead roles.
Based on a play by Eugène Scribe, the story was inspired by the real-life intrigues of famed actress Adrienne Lecouvreur and the legendary soldier—and lover—Maurice of Saxony.
Cilea's operatic retelling quickly became a favorite of charismatic soloists.
The title character in particular is a quintessential diva role.
Adriana Lecouvreur unfolds in Paris in 1730. The setting reflects a nostalgia for the Rococo era that swept over Europe and the Americas around the turn of the last century when Cilea was composing, evident in other operas (for instance, Puccini’s Manon Lescaut) and in architecture.
The score of Adriana Lecouvreur relies on elegance and a deft weaving of themes rather than symphonic grandeur.