Royal Opera 2016-17 Preview: Angela Gheorghiu Returns as ‘Adriana Lecouvreur’

By Francisco Salazar

The Royal Opera continues its 2016-17 season with the first revival of David McVicar’s 2010 production of Cilea’s “Adriana Lecouvreur.”

The opera will star Angela Gheorghiu, who created the production in 2010 and who has dominated the character for the past six years.

Hrachuhi Bassenz will alternate with Gheorghiu in her Royal Opera debut.

Brian Jagde will also star as Maurizio for the first time in his career. Jagde told Operawire “To do it with Angela, who owns this role right now, on my role debut, is going to be an amazing learning experience.”

Ksenia Dudnikova stars as the jealous Princesse de Bouillon while Alessandro Corbelli and Gerald Finley alternate playing Michonnet.

The run starts on the 7th of February and lasts until the 2nd of March, a total of seven performances.

The Opera

Many operas and plays have been inspired by the death of French actress Adrienne Lecouvreur, but Cilea’s opera is by far the most popular and finest of all those works. The opera is Cilea’s finest and most popular and it features some of opera’s most popular arias including “Io son l’umile ancilla,” “Poveri fiori” and “La dolcissima effigie sorridente.”. Other highlights include the Act III ballet and Adriana’s intense spoken recitation at the end of that act.

Popular Recordings

Those interested in seeing what Gheorghiu has to offer in the work can take a look at her performance from 2010 at the Royal Opera in the current production. The DVD also stars Jonas Kaufmann, Maurizio Muraro, Alessandro Corbelli and Olga Borodina. One of the most iconic recordings features Renata Scotto, Elena Obraztsova and Plácido Domingo. James Levine conducts the Sony Classical release.