“Adriana Lecouvreur” at the Royal Opera House

February 19, 2017 — 59 Comments

After several weeks of rehearsals and performances, it was nice to have a little time this week to recharge and become inspired by new repertoire and watch other performers on stage including supporting my friends watching their scenes.

Also last week I had the pleasure of going to watch “Adriana Lecouvreur” at the Royal Opera House. Whilst I’m living in London, I’m trying to see and hear as much as I can and make the most of the student deals that are available. The production was breathtaking and I was able to see one of my singing inspirations, Angela Gheorghiu, who gave an exciting and thrilling performance, but I must say the whole cast was phenomenal. Everybody had such beautiful voices with incredible projection.

roh-friday-17-02-17As a student of Opera, I was interested in how much the set design of this production shaped and aided the story. On stage, there was a working baroque theatre, which allowed for multiple scenes to be portrayed such as a backstage area with dressing rooms, the wings of the theatre, a palace, the actual performing stage and many others. As the story unfolded on stage, our imaginations were entranced by these transformations as the characters glided from one setting to another seamlessly and very naturally.

There was a particularly beautiful moment when there was a ballet depicting a performance of ‘The Judgment of Paris’ within the opera during the palace scene. It created so many dimensions, and it was interesting as the dancers had comedic moments when they made mistakes due to the ‘onstage audience’ diverting their attention as the love rivalry between the Princess and Adriana created a frosty atmosphere. As a performer, I couldn’t help but want to watch the ballerinas while at the same time trying desperately to take it all in. It was such detailed direction I wish I could afford to go and see it all over again.

I have tried to write a brief synopsis of the story which I hope gives you an idea of what was happening on stage:

This tragic story centers around an actress, Adriana Lecouvreur and the men who fall in love with her. Michonnet, the stage manager of the company that she performs for, is one of her admirers. He tells Adriana of his feelings for her, but she tells him that her heart belongs to a soldier, Maurizio, who is in the service of the Count of Saxony. But like all good operas Maurizio is no soldier; instead, we find out that he is actually the Count of Saxony.

Maurizio has another, more important admirer, the Princess of Bouillon. During a party thrown by the Prince de Bouillon, the plot thickens as the Princess tells Maurizio that her heart belongs to him, but he tells her that he does not feel the same way. She guesses that he has taken a lover and though he will not reveal her name the Princess is desperate to find out who her rival is. As the Prince arrives at the party, the Princess is left having to escape so as not to be found out. In the darkness, she is helped to escape by Adriana, and the Princess grows ever more suspicious of her.

The Princess is even more determined to find out the truth, and her suspicions deepen as the story continues to unfold. Adriana is told by the Princess that Maurizio has been injured in a duel and Adriana gives away her true feelings for him when he later joins the group uninjured. The Princess concludes that Adriana is her love rival and decides to have her revenge.

As the story comes to its tragic end, Adriana receives what she believes is an unwanted gift returned by her lover, Maurizio. She kisses the flowers, hurt by the thought that Maurizio no longer loves her and throws them away. But Maurizio finds her and tells her that she is the one for him and asks her to marry him. As the couple embrace, Maurizio fears for her as she trembles in his arms. The flowers had been poisoned by the Princess who gets her revenge as Adriana dies in the arms of her lover.

Here are some of the pictures from the Royal Opera House Flickr website.

Angela Gheorghiu and Brian Jagde in Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera © ROH 2017. Photo by Catherine Ashmore

Gerald Finley and Angela Gheorghiu in Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera © ROH 2017. Photo by Catherine Ashmore

Gerald Finley, Angela Gheorghiu and Bálint Szabó in Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera © ROH 2017. Photo by Catherine Ashmore

Production Photo of Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera © ROH 2017. Photo by Catherine Ashmore

Angela Gheorghiu in Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera © ROH 2017. Photo by Catherine Ashmore

Ksenia Dudnikova, Angela Gheorghiu and Brian Jagde in Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera © ROH 2017. Photo by Catherine Ashmore

Angela Gheorghiu in Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera © ROH 2017. Photo by Catherine Ashmore

Angela Gheorghiu in Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera © ROH 2017. Photo by Catherine Ashmore

Angela Gheorghiu and Brian Jagde in Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera © ROH 2017. Photo by Catherine Ashmore

59 responses to “Adriana Lecouvreur” at the Royal Opera House

  1. 

    You look marvelous! The story is good too but a little sad with such ending..

    • 

      Thank you my parents bought my dress for Christmas for the Spring and it was close enough to Spring to wear it 🙂
      Yes lots of sad endings in Opera I think it must have reminded people that their lives aren’t so bad.
      Best wishes,
      Charlotte

  2. 

    Dear Charlotte.
    I have enjoyed the updates from you on your training and God is using you to bridge the gap left since Brexit. Keep up the good work and when you graduate there will be many opportunities for you to change the world. May the Lord bless you richly my beloved.

    • 

      Thank you Rev Tim for your belief in me as a performer, we are all citizens of one world and we need to live in positive relationships with each other and that’s all I wish for the future.

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

  3. 

    Oh wow, such tragedy! Glad to see you are taking in as many shows in London as you can. They always get the best shows!

    • 

      Scottish Opera, Opera North and other smaller regional companies are really stepping up their game with regard to putting on the big Operas. I don’t know whether you’ve ever been to the Royal Northern College of Music but they put on Operas showcasing their emerging artists in Manchester I think you’d enjoy it. There is so much variety in London though it’s like being in a sweetie shop for me.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  4. 

    Isn’t it great that you have such remarkable opportunities? Just think, one day, YOU will be the one that the students come to see to broaden their horizons and expand their knowledge of beautiful music! ❤

  5. 

    It sounds like a wonderful performance. You have such wonderful opportunities opening up for you to not only learn, but to enjoy!!

  6. 

    Such sad stories do give opera full scope. The show looks magnificent, and one would want to see it a number of times to focus on different aspects. They should give students a season ticket!
    I do like your outfit for the occasion.

  7. 

    Hi Charlotte, wish that you could see it again too, it looked like fun. Wonderful photos from the website. Love the costumes and interiors too, even tho it ended on a sad note. Have a great week, Darlene

  8. 

    I’d love to be able to attend another performance at the Royal Opera House! I loved it the last time I went (which was years and years ago!). Yes, make the most of your time in London and make use of your student card as much as possible!!
    I’m glad you’ve had an easier week this week. Take care xx

  9. 

    That is a beautiful opera and you describe it very well.

  10. 

    Very nice review, Charlotte.

  11. 

    Love it! Beautiful in every way! 🙂

  12. 

    Hey Charlotte, such an inspiration to see you taking to London so well 🙂 The opportunities for you to see and hear as much as you can with all the talent and magic around you, it is truly an amazing time of your life. The photos you enclosed have so much emotion in them, part due to the great talent – London is one of the cradles for great artists to flourish, and it is exciting to see you grow and fall right in step within this culture. Wishing you a great spring ahead and many more adventures. Take care 🙂

    • 

      Hey Randall, hope you’re doing fabulously and your new adventures are panning out well. I’m loving London. I’m so looking forward to Spring I have to do a lot more walking here. You take care too thanks for popping by.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  13. 

    Great opportunities for you… make the most of it. All the very best, Charlotte! 🙂

  14. 

    Looked wonderfully fun, Charlotte. Loved the comments about the sets, it does add to the effects. While you enjoyed and learned opera. I learned lighting at the theater. Cognito board. It too makes a difference in setting the mood and highlighting. Glad you had a good time.

    • 

      A lot of my friends in Glasgow were from the scenery, lighting, costume, design students as I shared an apartment with a stage carpenter. He has already started his career as have many of them as they’re so talented, I always appreciate the work behind the scenes when productions were on Rob worked so many hours to make it a success.
      Best wishes,
      Charlotte

  15. 

    What a gorgeous performance! Thanks for all the photos. Angela Gheorghiu is one of my favourite singers, too. I know how you feel about wanting to go see it all over again–it is always impossible to take in everything the first time around!

    Best regards,

    Cate

  16. 

    Lovely, yet again, Charlotte. Glad you can have a break in between the busy spells. Enjoy it. 🙂

    • 

      Thank you Simon, I’ve got a really heavy schedule I’ve set for myself and at College at the moment so I snatch these moments of pure joy to remind me why I push myself so much.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  17. 

    I love all these photos! That floral dress is amazing on you!

  18. 

    Looks like a gorgeous production! Kind of a silly story, but what fun. It’s great you are enjoying the opportunities that London offers. You will remember every one of those experiences for a long time!

    • 

      Thank you Peter, I’m trying to record as many of these opportunities as possible so that I remember the excitement and experiences as you say for a long time. You have got some fabulous productions coming up too, I wish I was there.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  19. 

    Great ! very nice, thanks a lot Charlotte !
    Take care and all the best for you my friend !

  20. 

    Looks fabulous Charlotte, see you soon xxx

  21. 

    Lovely taster of the production. I haven’t seen this for years and I’m regretting not having booked.

    • 

      Everyone was in glorious voice, so much to take in as this is the first time I’ve seen this full opera too. When my parents were down they wanted to see it but it was fully booked that weekend so when this opportunity came up I jumped at it.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  22. 

    You commented: “I was interested in how much the set design of this production shaped and aided the story.” I don’t think people appreciate how much a set designer in theater and an art director in film shapes the outcome of the final work. I came to realize this after seeing a particular play twice. In the first performance, the set for the play was expansive with lots of light. In the second performance of the play, the set was dark and small, giving the theater goer a sense of paranoia. You can see this in two different performances on film of “Hamlet”. Compare Olivier’s “Hamlet” to Branagh’s “Hamlet”. It’s as if they were two different plays.

    • 

      Absolutely Don, I took part in a full Opera production at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland called Sir John in Love, the set designs by Giuseppe and Emma Belli were magnificent and really made a professional performance, the lighting designer for that production Johanna Town created such a great show. The Royal Opera House’s set was FABULOUS!
      Best wishes,
      Charlotte

  23. 

    These costumes are magical, I love the era of the 18th century.

    Best regards,
    Constanze

  24. 

    What beautiful photos, Charlotte. Looks like a wonderful production. You look lovely as always! Thank you for sharing. Hugs! 😃

  25. 

    You look beautiful in that dress! 🙂 And thanks for the synopsis. It’s so tragic! Thanks for sharing your experience! XO, Violet

  26. 

    Are these performances available on DVD, so viewers can watch them again? As for the story: What the heck kind of an ending is that? Message to the writer: You’re doing it wrong! 🙂 By the way, Charlotte…nice shoes.

    • 

      I do own some operas on DVD Eric and you can watch at the Cinema, you can also watch some clips on You Tube too. I think tragic endings help people to realise their real life isn’t quite so bad!
      I love those shoes I bought them to match my graduation dress and for performances I always get lots of lovely compliments when I wear them 😀.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  27. 

    Thank you so much for taking me to the opera, Charlotte. I had a lovely time, even without hearing a single note. The staging sounds immensely clever and the costuming is amazing. I fully expect to see you starring in just such a production before very long!

    • 

      Though I’d love to do this, because my body is my instrument it is difficult for singers to get roles like this until you’re in your 30’s and not until you can project over a full orchestra, have the correct technical prowess and acting skills, it’s hard to explain. But thank you for your belief in me and support it’s lovely.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

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