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In 1990 Opera Australia could do no wrong in this bargain release, except fail to number its chapters accurately. Richard Bonynge conducts an eloquent performance, blessed as he is with singers as gifted as they come and with a chorus and orchestra beautifully responsive to the lyrical nuances of Cilea's score. The production by John Copley conjures each scene with a fidelity to detail (admittedly not that of 1730) that makes of each act a visual delight, sumptuous enough to match the post-Straussian sounds, yet also with an unfailing eye for the interaction of characters who manage to be both larger than life yet also dramatically credible.

The final moments of the opera. Adriana (Joan Sutherland, bottom left) lies dead. DVD screenshot © Opus Arte
The final moments of the opera. Adriana (Joan Sutherland, bottom left) lies dead. DVD screenshot © Opus Arte

 

Copyright © 19 April 2006 Robert Anderson, London UK

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Adriana Lecouvreur

OA F4003 D DVD9 NTSC 4:3 Stereo FIRST DVD RELEASE 140' 1990 Australian Opera; 2006 Opus Arte

Joan Sutherland, Adriana; Heather Begg, The Princess of Bouillon; Anson Austin, Maurizio, Count of Saxony; John Shaw, Michonnet; Opera Australia; Richard Bonynge, conductor; John Copley, producer; The Australian Opera Chorus; The Elizabethan Sydney Orchestra; Brian Adams, executive producer; Hugh Davison, TV director; David Harvey, sound producer

Francesco Cilea (1866-1950): Adriana Lecouvreur (opera in four acts, 1902, based on the 1849 play by Eugene Scribe and Ernest Legouvé)

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