A rare title in opera scenarios such as ‘Adriana Lecouvreur’ has been chosen to close the present lyrical season of the Teatro de La Maestranza. His belonging to verismo always generates some expectation, if we think of the leading figure belonging to that aesthetic movement which is Giacomo Puccini. In this case, it was possible to appreciate how the music of Francesco Cilea serves as a link to a series of numbers treated as a ‘continuum’ in which he fundamentally pursues the brilliance of the singers, an intention well assumed by Pedro Halffter, especially in his great attention given to the protagonist, embodied by the San Sebastián soprano Ainhoa Arteta, who showed remarkable dramatic ability in her singing, a lyric quality that constituted her in the great focus of attraction of this performance.
The music of Cilea, although it does not move like Puccini’s, is well constructed following patterns in which it abuses ‘leit-motivic’ passages that are repeated without any variation, a fact that produces a certain disinterest in the listener, spreading the action that, in many moments of this opera, he uses the technique of theater within the theater, like that vital scene in which Ainhoa Arteta expressed with tense emotion the monologue of ‘Fedra’ by Racine, turning it into a direct attack against his rival, the Princess de Bouillon, confirming the powerful dramatic vision that the librettist Arturo Colautti asks both at this moment and in the scene of his death, with which the opera concludes.
As for the character of Murizio, it must be said that he was represented acceptably by the Romanian Teodor Ilincai, giving his role that character of Italian romantic tenor, generating attention in the ariosos, who sang with outstanding lyricism, and in the final duo in the one that accentuated this capacity. The Princess de Bouillon was played by the ‘mezzo-soprano’ Ksenia Dudnikova, who showed in her short interventions a strong temperament favored by the density of her voice, although she did not allow it to shine in the upper area of her register, without preventing her from dominate the stage with his presence, giving meaning to the sad and at the same time gentle expression of jealousy reflected in the dispute of the love of Maurizio by the two main female characters, a substantial knot of the plot of this opera.
The other singers worked with professional efficiency. The bass David Lagares, from a well-managed voice, gave solemnity to the character of the Prince of Bouillon, the tenor Josep Fadó made Abate de Chazeuil with vocal solvency, demonstrating dramatic experience at all times, and the baritone Luis Cansino reflected the bonhomie that must have the director of the scene of the Comédie Française, Michonnet, unrequited love of the protagonist, knowing how to manage the powerful voice that asks for his role in balance with the emotional subtlety that has to print to his action.
Pedro Halffter has led the orchestra and the choir with the intention of achieving that constant musical flow that Francesco Cilea demands from a manifest timid refinement and delicate singing, making those melodies that are broad and moving that history asks to sound in the pit. The direction of scene of Lorenzo Marini can be considered respectful with the meticulousness that demands the theater work of Eugène Scribe in which the libreto is based, when reflecting of realistic way an aristocratic atmosphere with an efectista illumination that favored the showiness of the clothes.