Great cast for tale of re­venge

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - OPERA DAVID WOODING Adri­ana Le­cou­vreur The Royal Opera House.

AN­GELA GHE­O­RGHIU is the clear bill-top­per for this re­vived pro­duc­tion mark­ing the 25th an­niver­sary of her Covent Gar­den de­but. But there’s stiff com­pe­ti­tion to be star of the show.

The Royal Opera has put to­gether a pow­er­ful line-up for Francesco Cilea’s sadly ne­glected tale of love, be­trayal and re­venge. The fine supporting cast is led by bari­tone Ger­ald Fin­ley, as stage man­ager Mi­chon­net, who is se­cretly in love with the lead char­ac­ter. Brian Jagde is suit­ably ma­cho as her cheat­ing lover Mau­r­izio and mezzo-so­prano Kse­nia Dud­nikova gives Ghe­o­rghiu a run for her money as schem­ing love ri­val, the Princess de Bouil­lon.

Is­raeli con­duc­tor Daniel Oren brings out the charm­ing melodies and colour­ful or­ches­tra­tion in Cilea’s mas­ter­piece.

The four-act opera is staged on two lav­ish sets of the Prince’s palace, sand­wiched be­tween a life­like copy of the back­stage area of the ComédieFrançaise of the 1720s, where the tragedy is set.

This opera’s ne­glect is partly blamed on the com­pli­cated plot but also on the com­poser liv­ing in the shadow of his con­tem­po­rary, Puc­cini. But, as the cast proved with their diva, eclipses don’t last for ever.

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