Posted by: NewtonUK 11:35 am EST 01/01/19

Cilea's ADRIANA LECOUVREUR is one of his 5 operas - and his only hit. It holds the stage because there is alwaus a diva that wants to do the show title role. Even though the only hit tune is Adriana's Act 1 aria 'Io son l'umile ancella' (I am the Humble Servant of the Creative Spirit) an aria that resembles in thoughts (and music) Puccini's TOSCA hit, 'vissi d'arte' - written 3 years earlier.

Adriana's aria comes about 2 minutes after her first appearance, backstage at the Comedie-Francaise. And then comes back either sung, or as a leit motiv, over and over and over.

The new David MacVicar production is quite good, as far as it goes - he handles the chorus so much better than most of the directors working at the Met these days - he and Laurent Pelly (and Willy Decker) stand out in this area.

The central unit of the set is a raised stage at the Comedie Francaise, that revolves, so that we can be backstage, in the wings, or looking at it from an audience POV. MacVicar uses this brilliantly in Act, which actually takes place at the Comedie.

But the next 3 acts take place in very different locales, but the 'theatre' set is used for all of them, and the sets for Acts 2 & 3 look, rather confusingly, as if they are sets on the stage of the Comedie. And in At 4 Adriana is apparently living on a cot backstage at the Comedie - although this does allow for a quite moving final 2 minutes.

All in all - it works quite well, and has no elements that will disturb the Met's extremely conservative audience. Netrebko is singing well, and the Diva loves playing the Diva.

Well conducted, and the balance of the cast is swell, though the tenor is a bit underpowered.

However, in light of the SAMSON AND DELILAH and TRAVIATA earlier this season, ADRIANA can be considered a minor triumph.

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