Great Performances at the Met: Adriana Lecouvreur premieres Sunday, May 12 at 12 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).
Sir David McVicar’s production of Cilea’s classic stars Anna Netrebko in the title role of the real-life French actress alongside Piotr Beczała as her lover Maurizio and Anita Rachvelishvili as her rival, the Princess of Bouillon. Conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, the opera also stars Carlo Bosi, Ambrogio Maestri, and Maurizio Muraro. Matthew Polenzani hosts.
The production takes place in 1730s Paris, where actress Adriana Lecouvreur is preparing for the stage. While alone, her director Michonnet professes his love to her, but Adriana informs him that she is in love with Maurizio, believing him to be an officer to the Count of Saxony. However, Maurizio is hiding two secrets; he is in fact the Count of Saxony himself, and he is also having an affair with the Princess of Bouillon, who has helped him pursue his political ambitions. Following a chance meeting at a party and subsequent escape plot, Adriana and the princess realize they are both in love with Maurizio but do not immediately recognize one another. Now rivals, Adriana and the princess are determined to discover one another’s identity while doing whatever it takes to win Maurizio’s heart.
Netrebko, in the title role, sings Fedra’s Monologue from Act III in the preview clip below:
Fun Fact: Adriana Lecouvreur marks the second opera in season 13 of Great Performances at the Met where Anna Netrebko and Anita Rachvelishvili star as rivals. The powerhouse vocalists starred in Verdi’s classic Aida, which premiered this January on PBS.