Opera stars shine in premiere of Adriana Lecouvreur

Adriana Lecouvreur Teatro Comunale di Bologna 2021 photo by Andrea RanziThe Australian premiere of acclaimed Italian director Rosetta Cucchi’s production of Adriana Lecouvreur will feature an outstanding quartet of some of the world’s most extraordinary opera singers when it opens at the Sydney Opera House this February.

The role of Adriana Lecouvreur demands the finest talent in both singing and acting, and Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho’s renowned musical and storytelling skills make her perfect to return to Sydney to reprise the part.

She immersed herself in the title role when co-producer Opera Oviedo staged this production in early 2022, after it opened at Teatro Comunale Di Bologna. Critics claimed Jaho was “absolutely splendid in the difficult character of Adriana Lecouvreur, a role for which she seems to have been born” – Scherzo.

Adriana’s bitter rival, the Principessa, will be performed by Romanian mezzo-soprano Carmen Topciu. No stranger to playing Ermonela’s on-stage rival, the pair faced off against each other as Anne and Jane in Opera Australia’s 2019 production of Anna Bolena.

Award-winning American tenor Michael Fabiano also returns, after his last performance with the Company in 2019, to make his role debut as the romantic lead, Maurizio. Coming from the cast of Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera, Fabiano made his Australian solo recital debut at Melbourne City Recital Hall on Sunday 12 February.

Regular visiting artist for OA since 2014, leading Italian baritone Giorgio Caoduro will perform the role of Michonnet. Local audiences will have another chance to enjoy Caoduro’s superb singing in the Company’s concerts of Roberto Devereux in March.

Stellar Opera Australia talent, Jane Ede, Angela Hogan, Virgilio Marino, Richard Anderson, Adam Player and Anthony Mackey round out the cast, each making role debuts in this exciting production.

The lush, romantic score of Cilèa’s most famous opera will be expertly played by the Opera Australia Orchestra, conducted by Italian maestro Leonardo Sini who won the prestigious International Conducting Competition Maestro Solti in 2017.

Rosetta Cucchi’s acclaimed version features breath-taking sets and costumes designed by Tiziano Santi and Claudia Pernigotti that transport audiences through time, with each of the four acts taking place in a new era, from the 18th century to the 1960s.

Cilèa’s operatic reimagining of the true story of Adrienne Lecouvreur is one of many adaptations of her fascinating life across a variety of artforms. Cucchi’s vision of this high-tension love triangle drama, including a stunning silks performance, will have audiences intrigued by Adriana’s scandalous tale until the final curtain falls.

Conductor: Leonardo Sini | Director: Rosetta Cucchi | Featuring: Ermonela Jaho, Carmen Topciu, Michael Fabiano, a Giorgio Caoduro, Virgilio Marino, Richard Anderson, Anthony Mackey, Adam Player, Jane Ede, Angela Hogan, Opera Australia Chorus, Opera Australia Orchestra | Set Designer: Tiziano Santi | Costume Designer: Claudia Pernigotti | Lighting Designer: Daniele Naldi | Choreographer: Luisa Baldinetti | Video Designer: Roberto Recchia | Assistant Video Content Director: Stefania Panighini

Adriana Lecouvreur
Joan Sutherland Theatre – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
Season: 20 February – 7 March 2023
Information and Bookings: www.opera.org.au

Image: Adriana Lecouvreur, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, 2021 – photo by Andrea Ranzi