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VIDEO - curtain call, Adriana Lecouvreur in Vienna, February 22

Adriana Lecouvreur, the third performance at the Vienna State Opera, February 22

Angela Gheorghiu | Adriana Lecouvreur
Elena Zhidkova | La Principessa di Bouillon
Massimo Giordano | Maurizio
Roberto Frontali | Michonnet

After act II


After act III


Final curtain calls




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Reminder - Adriana Lecouvreur from Vienna, LIVE on radio and web, February 22


The performance of Adriana Lecouvreur on February 22 starring Angela Gheorghiu, Massimo Giordano, Elena Zhidkova and Roberto Frontali will be broadcast live on:

*AUDIOÖ1 ORF, the Austrian radio station, in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, starting 7pm (GMT+1)
*AUDIORadio Romania Muzical, the Romanian cultural radio station, with comments in the studio, starting 8pm (EET) 
*VIDEO - Wiener Staatsoper live streaming on staatsoperlive.com starting 6:30pm (GMT+1), half an hour before the beginning of the performance (check out the different time zones to get the right time of the broadcast)

Enjoy!

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VIDEO - ORF Tv on the premiere of Adriana Lecouvreur


First, there were many reviews after the premiere, maybe more to come. I gather everything press related on the Press section of the blog. It is just a reminder of its existence, in case you forgot about it :)

Here's a short video piece on Adriana Lecouvreur. Some interviews and thoughts.
Click HERE to ORF website, then follow the instruction below. I couldn't find a direct link.


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PHOTOS - "Adriana", after the premiere


A success, as friends told me. Success indeed, judging on their smiling faces. Beautiful photos taken after the performance and during the after party, all posted by the State Opera on their official Facebook page
Massimo Giordano, Dominique Meyer, Angela Gheorghiu, Elena Zhidkova and Evelino Pido
Photo @Wiener Staatsoper
Photo @Wiener Staatsoper
Angela Gheorghiu and Massimo Giordano
Photo @Wiener Staatsoper
Angela Gheorghiu and Evelino Pido
Photo @Wiener Staatsoper

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Interview in Kurier.at

On Adriana Lecouverur in Vienna and future plans in an interview Angela Gheorghiu gave for Kurier.at

[…]
Interviewer: And what would you ask CILEA to his "Adriana"?
Angela Gheorghiu (laughing): I would only thank him for his music and this role. If he was then in a good mood, I would say: you have written so beautiful arias and created a strong woman. Why must she die? Adriana deserved to survive and to be happy.

Interviewer: Future plans?
Angela Gheorghiu: Sure. A Norma would be nice. I have many plans for Vienna. Someday I'd like to record the Desdemona on CD or DVD. In top-ranked players. But this is not easy. It is difficult to find a good Otello. Plácido Domingo is no longer available.

Interviewer: But he could conduct...
Angela Gheorghiu: Good idea! But give me an Otello! Then I do it immediately. I must ask Jonas Kaufmann… […]

The entire interview can be read online

As Jonas declared in a recent interview that he'll do Otello in less than two years, there are high chances the project materialize. On CD and (hopefully) on stage.


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Adriana, the premiere


The first Adriana Lecouvreur has just finished at the State Opera in Vienna.

I say… wish I were there.
The State Opera says… Ein großes BRAVO allen Beteiligten für eine fulminante Premiere ADRIANA LECOUVREUR! (A big Bravo to all involved in the brilliant premiere of Adriana Lecouvreur). And added the first curtain call photo on their Facebook page

Photo @Wiener Staatsoper

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"Singing was never a career goal, but a mission", interview in Kleine Zeitung


One day before the opening of Adriana Lecouvreur at the State Opera in Vienna, Kleine Zeitung published an interview with Angela Gheorghiu, signed by Luigi Heinrich.

About Adriana, career, music, preparing for a performance and being called a diva. 

Here's the entire interview, in German.

Adriana Lecouvreur opens on February 16, with five more performances scheduled until March 12 at the State Opera in Vienna.

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PHOTOS - Adriana Lecouvreur in Vienna


Staatsoper Vienna posted all these beautiful pictures on their Facebook account: Angela Gheorghiu as Adriana Lecouvreur, Massimo Giordano as Maurizio, Roberto Frontali as Michonnet and Elena Zhidkova as Principessa di Bouillon.

All the photos © Michael Poehn / Wiener Staatsoper

Adriana Lecouvreur will open on February 16, with five more performances scheduled on February 19, 22, March 4, 8 and 12.

Got melancholic. Remembering London Adriana. Looking forward to go to Vienna!










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The MET it is, La Boheme in December 2014




The Metropolitan Opera New York announced the 14/15 season yesterday. Angela Gheorghiu will perform in La Boheme twice, onDecember 10 and 13, 2014, together with Ramon Vargas. It’s the good old Zeffirelli production (the one on the DVD released in 2008)

Check out the entire MET season. There are six premieres and lots of other goodies. Looking forward to their Cinema season announcement!

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Back to the MET (?)


Rumor has it (via Parterre Box) that Angela Gheorghiu will star in La Boheme in the 2014/2015 Metropolitan Opera season. Don't know when or how many performances, but we'll find out pretty soon. The MET announces its new season in less than 24 hours. 
There are high chances the rumors are true as there are so many details on that website. The season looks very promising, with 6 premieres and 19 repertoire operas. 

Interesting combination of casts: 
La Boheme with Angela Gheorgiu/Kristine Opolais, Bryan Hymel/Ramon Vargas, Sonya Yoncheva (Musetta) and Mariusz Kwiecień/Quinn Kelsey/Luca Salsi

Check out the predictions here….and eyes on metoperafamily.com


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Adriana L., live VIDEO streaming from Vienna on February 22

Even better news. The streming is part of the Vienna State Oper program that include several performances streamed live during the season.

Adriana Lecouvreur will be broadcast live in Vienna (and other cities in Europe) on February 22 starting 6:30pm (the broadcast starts 30 minutes before the performance) on staatsoperlive.com. There's a small fee to be paid, 14 euro/performance. The purchase must be made before the beginning of the streaming.

Pay attention to the different time zones for broadcasting. There are countries where the broadcast has a delay, such as Bucharest (recorded broadcast one day later, Feb 23 at 7pm local time)

For more info, check out Staatsoper live

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Adriana, live on Radio Romania Muzical, February 22

Good news for the Romanian opera fans! Adriana Lecouvreur (starring Angela Gheorghiu, Massimo Giordano and Roberto Frontali) will be broadcasted live from the Vienna State Opera also on Radio Romania Muzical, February 22 starting 8pm. 
Live performance and professional comments from the studio.

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Adriana Lecouvreur on Radio Ö1, February 22


The broadcast is already announced on the website of the Vienna State Opera and in their monthly magazine.  Radio Ö1 will broadcast Adriana Lecouvreur live on February 22 starting 7pm (GMT+1). Online streaming available here


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Interview in the Staatsoper Vienna magazine


The following interview is published in the February issue of the magazine of the Vienna State Opera. On the occasion of the first Adriana Lecouvreur at the Vienna State Opera ever, this issue focuses on the guest stars. Anglea Gheorghiu talked to Andreas Lang about this beautiful production that will open on February 16.

Claudia, thanks a lot for the translation!


The first Adriana at the State Opera (Vienna)
An idolized artist

After the new production of Gounod's Faust in 2008 Angela Gheorghiu, one of the greatest singers of our time, sings now the title role of Cilea´s Adriana Lecouvreur on 16 February 2014 in a premiere at the Vienna State Opera. Yes, more than that: This opera has never been shown before in the House at the Ring, it is the historically first Adriana at the State Opera. On the occasion of this premiere, the popular soprano has given the following interview to Andreas Láng,

Ms. Gheorghiu, which kind of person is Adriana Lecouvreur? Today, her name is not so familiar anymore
Angela Gheorghiu: Now, we first have to make a difference, if we are talking about the real, historical Adriana Lecouvreur or about Cilea's Adriana in the opera. These are two very different entities. The first one, who lived in first third of the 18th Century, was a major actress with an allegedly compelling personality and several liaisons, among other things, she had a relationship with Maurice of Saxony. In addition, she was very beautiful, which is not always a disadvantage. But what kind of person was she? No idea! Who can really look into others? Even contemporaries often remain a mystery to us, much more a person who died more than 280 years ago. We don´t even know one hundred percent if she was really poisoned - quite melodramatic as in the opera it will not already have been. But what we know and what I am interested in during creating a role is the fact that she was a great artist and the theater world was at her feet. No less a figure than Voltaire wrote the Ode "La mort de Mademoiselle Lecouvreur". You will understand, for an artist like me it is special to represent another great artist on stage, whether it is Tosca or Adriana.

How does it work, representing another artist? Do you try to slip in your artistic experiences and your personality ? How much of Gheorghiu will we find in your Adriana?
Angela Gheorghiu: (laughs) No matter what role I sing - for me the artistically authentic rendition of the score is important. Of course I have an artistic personality and of course this is currently in all my roles. This is indeed expected by the audience. But which facets of my personality become more prominent, depends on the role and also on the staging.

Concerning the current Adriana staging. . .
Angela Gheorghiu: ... I am very proud, it was made in London effectively for me. They asked me if I wanted to sing Adriana at Covent Garden and I agreed on two conditions: I wanted David McVicar as director and I insisted that the production takes place in the original time, without any modern mise-en-scène which we all have widely experienced during the last 30 years on the international Opera stages. And now I have to say: I have never been allowed to wear such beautiful costumes on stage!

How much of a role-making is inspiration, how much craft and how much intellectual concept?
Angela Gheorghiu: You have just mentioned all three necessary aspects - but I can give no percentage (laughs).

And which are the musical challenges of Adriana?
Angela Gheorghiu: It is not an easy part overall - quite dramatic. And the orchestra is not very small. But what I really like is this refinement of the composer, how he adsorbed this French lifestyle of the era, the Society and reproduced it. Who listens well, gets already a significant information about the situation, the actors, the atmosphere solely from the music.

You sing Mimì, Tosca, Marguerite, Violetta - and now Adriana. All these young women are dying at end of the opera. Don't you mind to always be a victim?
Angela Gheorghiu: A victim! Why a victim? Because they die? Let's stay down to earth: everyone dies sooner or later. In actual fact, it is: How do I have lived before death? It´s true Adriana dies very early, but her life before was fulfilled in every way. Cilea has made an Opera out of the last part of her full life. A victim? Remember how full of character she is, how much courage she has, when in her Phèdre text she chooses the intonation, that she snubbed her powerful enemy, the Princess of Bouillon. No, no, Adriana Lecouvreur is not a victim for sure.


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How I attended a rehearsal day - Adriana Lecouvreur in Vienna


Have you ever had the feeling that certain things happen for your eyes only? It’s that period when you get totally lost in what you see and hear, when you hold the breath fearing that the precious moment would go away too soon.

I had the opportunity to attend one of the piano/directing rehearsals of Adriana Lecouvreur at the State Opera Vienna. It is the production that was first staged by David McVicar at the Royal Opera House in November 2010. In fact, it’s a coproduction between the Royal Opera House, Liceu Barcelona, Vienna State Opera, Opera National de Paris and San Francisco Opera. This year it will premiere in Vienna.
On a Friday afternoon I entered a world a opera hidden to the public eyes, the laboratory where the essences are put together to reveal the magic on the opening night. There are tens of days like these, hundreds of hours of hard work in different locations, with the cast, the ballet, together or separately.

And this is what I saw, heard and felt, with all my senses at double intensity from my seat very close to the stage.

***

The set
The entire main venue of the State opera was in dim light, I could see about twenty faces here and there. Probably those who were rehearsing for other productions and decided to take a look during their break. Seeing it empty, the venue is even bigger. The royal red velvet is highlighted by the lamps on the walls. The ring of light on the ceiling is turned off. The stage is lit as for a regular performance. No one speaks with a loud voice for fear of disturbing. There’s a sort of humming, ascending when something exceptional happened on stage.
On some chairs in the front rows there were some scores opened at act three. On the right side of the stage (looking from the venue) there was catwalk connecting the stage with the venue. It was the fastest way for the assisting director, Mr Justin Way (Mr McVicar is not present), chorus conductor or choreographer to get from the stage to the seats.

In the pit, on the right side of the conductor, the staff cleared some space for a Bösendorfer piano. It was surrounded by other chairs put in the regular position for the orchestra to perform in the evening. This was direction rehearsal with piano.

On stage, the set for act three was in place. It’s the stage where Adriana would declaim her monologue. With the stage on stage and about thirty chairs in front of it. I also noticed some pieces from the costumes worn by singers, a hat, a skirt, a sword.

The characters
On stage there’s a lot of activity. Angela Gheorghiu (Adriana Lecouvreur, Massimo Giordano (Maurizio), Roberto Frontali (Michonnet) and Elena Zhidkova (Principessa de Bouillon) were on their places waiting for the conductor to begin the last part of the third act. The ballet dancers were warming up as that was their big moment in the opera. The chorus members were carefully listening to the Justin’s indications. Everyone is wearing street clothes, the rehearsals with costumes are scheduled for the following days. The prompter, in his small pit, was also ready.
In the pit, Evelino Pido, the conductor, was talking to the pianist, setting the starting bar number for this part of the rehearsal
In the venue, there were the choreographer, the chorus master, a young lady taking notes for Justin Way. She was writing fast in her A4 hard cover notebook, not missing any of his words.

The action
Justin came to his place in the venue, he picked up an aisle seat in the third row, right in the middle, with perfect view to the stage. To his right, the chorus master was browsing the score.
Evelino Pido turned the head towards Justin, they both nodded, the conductor announced the bar number and the first words of the libretto to all those on stage, he nodded again to the pianist, and the rehearsal started.

Accompanied by piano only, they started singing, in full voice. I felt no difference from a regular performance. In about three minutes I heard a voice with a genuine British accent: “Hold it! Thank you. Let’s see...”. Then he rushed to the catwalk, burst on stage, and put in place the members of the chorus. He asked some of them to move towards the stage or to step back, gave some short indications to Mr Giordano and Mrs Zhidkova. Then rushed back to his seat and said “ok, thank you! From the beginning, please”. And they all started from the same bar number previously indicated. From my seat I could hear Justin Way talking to the young lady, talking to himself, taking more notes, moving his arms in the air. It was conductor’s turn to stop the music. Apparently, the chorus entered too abruptly on the first notes of their part. “Please, do it like a swing. Piano e dopo mezzo piano. Let’s try”. They tried, also helped by the chorus master who also put something down in his score. The conductor was content and they moved on. The big monologue moment followed. I couldn’t help noticing the admiration in everyone’s eyes when she sung. So powerful her voice, so fiery her eyes. I also saw how often her colleagues asked her different things related to the production. She did the monologue twice and the ballet dancers did their part also twice.

The stage was almost deserted, most of the people were on break. I got closer to the sets, driven by curiosity. Angela came to me, grabbed my hand and took me on top of the stage on stage. "Let me show you the view from up there", she said. On the edge of the stage, about 40 feet high, there was an X. It was the spot where Adriana, led by Michonnet, delivered the monologue. She left me there for a few moments. Oh God, what a feeling, to see in front of you the entire stage and the the huge venue. She put me in the artist's shoes. The feeling that thousands of eyes were looking at you waiting for you to sing perfectly, the heat from tens of spotlights, the smell of the sets, the image of the conductor in the six monitors on the sides of the stage…it was overwhelming. I really don't remember how I got down, probably the same way I went up, holding Angela's hand.

After the interval they did the entire act four. The set changed and I that was a rehearsal also for the stage crew. I heard them talking about moving the stage on stage, about bringing in and taking out the chairs and other props, of how fast the curtain should drop.
As I entered the dark venue I noticed I was the only one left there. The rest of the audience was gone, the chorus master and choreographer were also gone because there are no ballet or chorus moments in the last act, Justin was coming and going. Everything that was about to happen was (or felt like it was) for the only person in the audience, for me.

After Angela finished Poveri fiori and the duet with Massimo Giordano, Justin went on stage again revising some gestures and positions, trying to highlight some others to make the love duet and Adriana’s death more credible. “Massimo, hold her arm, don’t let go. She’s almost dying, don’t move away, she needs to lean on you”. With a gentle, slightly visible smile, Angela listened then went back to her place and they both did the scene again. Sitting down on the stage, very close to the pit as if coordinating the tempo of the music with the movements of the singers to be sure they fit perfectly and give the right amount of emotions, Justin Way was content of the result. 

The final step was to rehears Adriana’s death. Angela delivered it with much feeling, accompanied by the piano, then slowly bended her knees and laid down. I still can hear her saying Scostatevi, profani! Melpomene son io! The ecstatic assisting director applauded, then, remembering what he was there for, said “Beautiful, beautiful. But there is a small problem, you three too close to the pit. You’re right in the way of the curtain”. So they did the scene again, paying attention to every detail so everything to be in the right place. In the end, the stage on stage squeaked and slightly turned and the characters paid their last homage to the dying actress. “Bravo! And thank you for being here this afternoon!”, concluded Justin Way.

***

This is how an outsiders sees a rehearsal. I waited for four days before writing, as it had to be an objective story. On that moment and on the days after I was kept in that beautiful feeling. The excitement of attending the first rehearsal of an opera production, the mind being blown up by every small detail noticed on and off stage, the huge pleasure and honor of actually being there. Thank you very, very much!

Adriana Lecouvreur opens on February 16 at the Vienna State Opera. There are five more performances with the same cast scheduled for February 19, 22 and March 4, 8, 12.
There are a lot of beautiful photos from the rehearsals on Angela's Facebook fan page, HERE and HERE

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Adriana Lecouvreur, opening in Vienna on February 16


Adriana Lecouvreur is opening at Staatsoper Vienna on February 16.
Starring Angela Gheorghiu, Massimo Giordano, Robero Frontali and Elena Zhidkova this is the same production that premiered at the Royal Opera House in London back in 2010. It's a beauty!

There are tickets still available for all six performances (February 16, 19, 22 and March 4, 8 and 12)



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