Review Roundup: What Did the Critics Think of the Met's ADRIANA LECOUVREUR

Review Roundup: What Did the Critics Think of the Met's ADRIANA LECOUVREUR

Anna Netrebko brings her acclaimed portrayal of the passionate real-life French actress at the heart of Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur to the Metropolitan Opera for the first time in a new production that opens in a special New Year's Eve gala performance and continues through January 26, 2019.

Anita Rachvelishvili, who starred opposite Netrebko in Verdi's Aida earlier this season, is the Princess of Bouillon, renewing their onstage rivalry. Piotr Beczala is Maurizio and Ambrogio Maestri is Michonnet, the two men in love with Adriana. Rounding out the cast are Carlo Bosi as the Abbé and Maurizio Muraro as the Prince of Bouillon.

Maestro Gianandrea Noseda returns to the Met to conduct Cilea's elegant score. Sir David McVicar's production-the work's first new staging at the Met in more than 50 years-brings the world of the theater to vivid life, with all of the drama playing out in a working replica of a Baroque playhouse. On January 23 and 26, the title role is sung by Jennifer Rowley.

Let's see what the critics had to say...

Richard Sasanow, BroadwayWorld: On New Year's Eve, the Metropolitan Opera unveiled a new production of Cilea's ADRIANA LECOUVREUR, with a high-powered, audience-pleasing cast--headed by Anna Netrebko--in a production by Met favorite David McVicar, appealingly designed and costumed, and played elegantly by the Met orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda's sweeping baton. Somehow, for me at least, it didn't quite amount to the sum of its parts.

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times: Also, the truth is that for all the lyrical richness, melodramatic fervor and stylish evocations of Parisian courtly and theatrical life in 1730, this opera, the only one by Cilea that turns up now and then in production, needs all the help it can get from artists of Ms. Netrebko's stature. It's a good and effective, but not great, work. The light touch that Cilea brings to bear, while preventing the drama from slipping into mawkish excess, sometimes feels musically thin.

David Wright, New York Classical Review: From that historical character, Cilea crafted a compelling role for a charismatic soprano, and the Met certainly has one in this show's star Anna Netrebko, whose buttery voice and sensitive interpretation vividly evoked the legendary actress Monday night. Her performance, along with those of the reliable tenor Piotr Beczala as Maurizio and the fast-rising mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as Adriana's rival the Princess of Bouillon, were reason enough for celebration on this New Year's Eve.

Christopher Corwin, Parterre: It's a quintessential red-blooded Italian opera especially when performed by such a lavish all-star cast as the one that on New Year's Eve opened Sir David McVicar's already creaky, now eight-year-old version. I felt not a single twinge of guilt for the nearly "endless pleasure" they summoned up.

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