Met Opera

Soprano Anna Netrebko is Adriana and tenor Piotr Beczała is her lover Maurizio in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of “Adriana Lecouvreur.”

Soprano Anna Netrebko joins the ranks of Renata Tebaldi, Montserrat Caballé and Renata Scotto, taking on — for the first time at the Met — the title role of the real-life French actress who dazzled 18th-century audiences with her on- and offstage passion.

The Metropolitan Opera broadcasts Live in HD Francesco Cilea’s “Adriana Lecouvreur” to Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, and rebroadcasts it to Rutland’s Paramount Theatre at 12:55 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13. Estimated run time is three hours, 16 minutes with two intermissions.

The soprano is joined by tenor Piotr Beczała as Adriana’s lover, Maurizio. The principal cast also features mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili and baritone Ambrogio Maestri. Gianandrea Noseda conducts. Sir David McVicar’s staging, which sets the action in a working replica of a Baroque theater, premiered at the Royal Opera House in London, where the Guardian praised the “elegant production, sumptuously designed … The spectacle guarantees a good night out.”

“Adriana Lecouvreur” occupies a unique place in the repertory: largely dismissed by experts from its premiere to the present day yet cherished by its fans for the dramatic possibilities provided by the lead roles. The opera is a deft combination of frank emotionalism and flowing lyricism, with pseudo-historical spectacle. Based on a play by Eugène Scribe, the story was inspired by the real-life intrigues of famed actress Adrienne Lecouvreur and the legendary soldier — and lover — Maurice of Saxony. Cilea’s operatic retelling quickly became a favorite of charismatic soloists. The title character in particular is a quintessential diva role.

In Middlebury, a pre-performance talk at 12:15 p.m. will be given by Richard Marshak in the Studio downstairs.

Middlebury tickets are $24 (plus fees), $10 for students; call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhalltheater.org. Rutland tickets are $23, $10 for students; call 802-775-0570, or go online to www.paramountvt.org.

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