The unforgettable New Year’s Eve at the MET
On Monday night the Metropolitan Opera celebrated New Year’s with a new production of Cilea’s “Adriana Lecouvreur” with soprano Anna Netrebko and tenor Piotr Beczala in leading roles. The duo reunited at the MET for the first time since 2015.
The cast of the acclaimed production directed by Sir David McVicar also features Anita Rachvelishvili as the Princess of Bouillon, Ambrogio Maestri as Michonnet and Carlo Bosi as the Abbé. Cilea’s tragedy is conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, with the action partially set in a working replica of a Baroque theater.
After the successful opening night, „Adriana Lecouvreur” will be running throughout January, with more performances scheduled on the 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, 19th, 23rd and 26th.
What’s more, opera lovers around the world will be able to enjoy the Metropolitan Opera performance live on screen in HD on the 12th of January. Live in HD transmissions are seen on more than 2200 screens in over 70 countries. Click here to find your nearest movie theater.
The press reviews:
“The tenor Piotr Beczala, singing with youthful fervor, ardent lyricism and clarion top notes, is ideal as the impetuous Maurizio. While suggesting how smitten he is by Adriana, he comes across as a young man on the move. With his royal position looking risky, he proves himself through military exploits. But we learn that he is also disentangling himself from an advantageous liaison with the married Princess of Bouillon, who refuses to let him go (…) Ms. Netrebko, Mr. Beczala and Ms. Rachvelishvili claimed those roles so tenaciously that the drama bristled with passion and danger.”
“In contrast, the seductive music for Maurizio lies precisely in the best part of Piotr Beczala’s shimmering tenor. While I’m in no position to offer an opinion about his abilities as a sex worker, I can say I’d gladly squander the family fortune to hear him wrap his voice around his first aria, “La dolcissima effigie.”
“This is perhaps the finest cast ever seen in David McVicar’s production of the opera (…) Piotr Beczala is in sterling form as Adriana’s lover Maurizio, making a deep impression in his brooding aria “L’anima ho stanca” and later reciting his military accomplishments with swagger.”
“Happy new year! The Metropolitan Opera rang in 2019 with a boffo “Adriana Lecouvreur,” featuring a love triangle of Anna Netrebko, Anita Rachvelishvili and Piotr Beczala with enough sizzle to lead some critics to warm to the not-always-respected work (…) The stars of the Met’s new production of “Adriana Lecouvreur” could not be better: the ravishing soprano Anna Netrebko in the title role, the smoldering mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as the Princess of Bouillon, and the clarion tenor Piotr Beczala as Maurizio, the dashing count both women love.”
“Maurizio, the object of two women’s desire was tenor Piotr Beczała, now in his thirteenth year at the Met. Always a fine lyric tenor, the voice has grown – it is now a grand instrument from bottom to top, with plenty of ping and of good enough size to carry over the orchestra. The very picture of an ardent lover, Beczała sang Maurizio’s beautiful melodies luxuriously.”
“As the object of both women’s affections, Beczała burns with a youthful ardor that makes one understand why Adriana and the Princess are drawn to him even when he transgresses (…) With Netrebko, Beczała, and Rachvelishvili onstage, this fluffy opera comes off as something like a masterpiece of deliciously sumptuous ribaldry.”
“Beczala cut a fine figure as Maurizio and made him into a palatable character, even though he is two-timing the two women in his life, Adriana and the Princesse de Bouillon. The tenor showed off his ability to keep the sweetness in his voice and ringing high notes (despite moving on to more demanding roles like Don Jose and Lohengrin), as in Act I’s “La dolcissima effigie” and Act II’s “L’anima ho stanca.”
“His attentive manner was a striking contrast to Piotr Beczala’s strutting Maurizio. However, the Polish tenor always radiates such wholesome good humor that it was nearly impossible to see the Saxon two-timer in a bad light. Beczala was in ringing form, at ease in the role’s ardent arias and besotted duets (…) It was grand to hear him in such fine fettle, and he proved a mightily sympathetic partner for Netrebko during her extended death throes.”
“Tenor Piotr Beczala played Maurizio, the Saxon prince caught between these two corseted beauties. In a broad-shouldered and full-throated manner, he veered between heroic and bewildered through the opera’s convoluted plot. He sang “L’anima lo stanca”, his big aria in the second act with power and a bright ringing sound that reminded this listener of the early years of a certain Spanish tenor who now plays baritone roles. His onstage charisma elevated all the scenes he was in, most particularly the tragic finale of the opera where he reveals that it was the Princess, not he who sent Adriana the fatal violets.”