Islington Tribune, 25 November 2010
Ciléa: Adriana Lecouvreur, Royal Opera House, 18 November 2010
Classical and Jazz: Latest News
CUTS? What cuts? No sign at the Royal Opera House, that’s for sure.

Its new production of Cilea’s neglected opera Adriana Lecouvreur is so sumptuous and lavish with an array of magnificent costumes that it seems on a different planet to The Cuts. That’s reflected in tickets priced as high as£900, partly to subsidise cheapest tickets at only £9.

Also, the ROH production costs are shared with opera houses in Barcelona, Paris, San Francisco and Vienna staging the production in months to come.

The opera hasn’t been put on at the ROH since 1906, shortly after it was composed by Francesco Cilea, a contemporary of Puccini. It’s not difficult to see why. The opera’s labyrinthine plot involves goings-on between Parisian aristocrats and actors at the Comédie Française and the orchestral scoring is tedious at times. Suffice to say, an actress and a princess have both got the hots for a dashing aristocrat and, after one machination after another, the actress dies a lingering death after kissing poisoned violets sent by the horrible princess.

In the ROH production, top drawer soprano Angela Gheorghiu as actress Adriana sang exquisitely if not with great passion.

German tenor Jonas Kaufmann as aristocrat Maurizio, complete with designer stubble, lived up to his burgeoning reputation as the opera world’s new Placido Domingo.


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