Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur / Elder, Gheorghiu, Kaufmann [2 DVD]

Album Summary

>Cilèa, Francesco : Adriana Lecourvreur
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Starring Angela Gheorghiu as the celebrated French actress Adriana Lecouvreur and Jonas Kaufmann as her lover Maurizio, Count of Saxony, Cilea's verismo drama explores celebrity, romance, jealousy, and death. The trio of sublime voices is completed by Russian mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina as Adriana's jealous rival, the Princess de Bouillon. David McVicar's hit production - the first performance of the opera at the Royal Opera House, Covnet Garden for more than a century - presents the life of the French actress as a blurring of the distinction between fantasy and reality. The action revolves around a life-size Baroque Theatre, taking us from the bustle and color of the first act backstage at the playhouse, to the bare final scenes as the drama reaches its fatal climax. The DVD & Blu-ray contains bonus footage featuring interviews with the principal artists, Director, Set Designer and Conductor.

"Gheorghiu is dream casting for a role which all the great dramatic sopranos – from Joan Sutherland to Renée Fleming – have scrambled to make their own... David McVicar's production is full of clever touches and includes an absolutely exquisite little entr'acte ballet. Its sure arc progresses inexorably from humdrum public reality to a private and tragic apotheosis. This opera being a lightly fictionalised version of an improbably dramatic life, the dénouement comes when, having sniffed a bunch of poisoned violets sent by her jealous rival, the heroine becomes delirious and starts to relive her greatest stage moments. Gheorghiu's handling of this scene is flawless, her voice soaring and falling back in despair like a wounded bird. The last thing we hear is Maurizio's grief-stricken cry which – as Kaufmann delivers it, over the sound of a consoling harp – wrings the hearts of all who have stayed the emotional course with this sorely underrated drama. In the pre-cinema Italy of Cilea's day, operas like this would be the regular Saturday night entertainment for rich and poor alike. As the ovation confirmed, it still makes a splendid one today." -The Independent

Fanfare Magazine
On video, this Decca Blu-ray is far superior visually and audibly to anything we have had before and becomes a clear first choice. This is a very good opera production despite my minor reservations and deserves an enthusiastic recommendation.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 150 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Subtitles: English



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Works Details

>Cilèa, Francesco : Adriana Lecourvreur
  • Performers: Maurizio Muraro (Bass); Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor); Angela Gheorghiu (Soprano); Alessandro Corbelli (Baritone); Bonaventura Bottone (Tenor); Olga Borodina (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1902