Soprano Anna Netrebko joins the ranks of Renata Tebaldi, Montserrat Caballé, and Renata Scotto, taking on – for the first time at the Met – the title role of the real-life French actress who dazzled 18th-century audiences with her on- and offstage passion.
The soprano is joined by tenor Piotr Beczala as Adriana’s lover, Maurizio. The principal cast also features mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili and baritone Ambrogio Maestri.
Sir David McVicar’s staging, which sets the action in a working replica of a Baroque theater, premiered at the Royal Opera House in London, where The Guardian praised the “elegant production, sumptuously designed … The spectacle guarantees a good night out.”
The opera occupies a unique place in the repertory: largely dismissed by experts from its premiere 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. Francesco Cilea’s operatic retelling quickly became a favorite of charismatic soloists. The title character in particular is a quintessential diva role.