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Adriana Lecouvreur

The Royal Opera

David McVicar’s sumptuous production of Francesco Cilea’s tragic opera is rich in historical detail.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of Adriana Lecouvreur. It was last on stage 7 February—2 March 2017 as part of the WINTER 2016/17 season.

The Story

The actress Adriana Lecouvreur is adored by many – including stage manager Michonnet – but she loves Maurizio, Count of Saxony. He is entranced by Adriana, and desperately tries to extricate himself from his former lover, the Princesse de Bouillon.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)


The death of French actress Adrienne Lecouvreur inspired many plays and operas, of which Francesco Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur is the finest and most enduring. The opera would become Cilea’s greatest success, renowned particularly for his heroine’s arias ‘Io son l’umile ancilla’ in Act I and ‘Poveri fiori’ in Act IV – though Cilea’s atmospheric and elegant score offers much more besides, with Maurizio’s aria ‘La dolcissima effigie sorridente’, the Act III ballet and Adriana’s intense spoken recitation at the end of that act particular highlights.

David McVicar’s 2010 production was The Royal Opera’s first since 1906. For it, set designer Charles Edwards re-created to exacting detail a working Baroque theatre, similar to the 18th-century Comédie-Française in which the real Adrienne would have performed. Sumptuous period costumes designed by Brigitte Reiffenstuel complete a spectacular production that delves into the intoxicating allure of the theatre.

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