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Adriana Lecouvreur

Francesco Cilèa
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Melodic inventiveness and orchestral elegance

“The prestige which covers an actress renders her the most dangerous woman one can imagine”

Louis-Sébastien Mercier, Du Théâtre, ou Nouvel essai sur l’art dramatique (1773)


In the 18th century, the French language had no greater ambassador than actress Adrienne Lecouvreur: sovereign of Voltaire’s tragedies, of Racine and Corneille’s verses and of the sung declamation of the Comédie-Française. Her life was short, as she died suddenly at the age of 38. Her love affair with Marshal Maurice de Saxe aroused the jealousy of the Duchess de Bouillon. An accident shrouded in mystery ensued, in which legend has it that a poisoned bouquet, offered by her rival, was the cause of her death. Jealousy, caused by fissures that are impossible to heal, is the powerful vehicle that unleashed this tragedy. The church’s refusal to give her a Christian burial shocked society of the time.

In the heart of the 19th century, thanks to the theatrical work of Eugène Scribe and Gabriel Legouvé, the myth was adapted into an opera by Francesco Cilèa. Heir to the Italian Romantic tradition, the Calabrian composer offered musical verismo one of its most exciting melodramas, along the lines of the compositions of Mascagni, Leoncavallo and Giordano. 

Play Adriana

Combining historical truth and tragic realism, Adriana Lecouvreur has never failed to expose on stage the noblest theatrical illusions along with real-life feelings. First performed in Milan in 1902, it is a favourite of audiences due to its melodic inventiveness and the elegance of the orchestral writing.  

With the support of:

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Opera in four acts

Libretto by Arturo Colautti based on the drama "Adrienne Lecouvreur" by Eugène Scribe and Ernest Legouvé.
World premiere: 6/11/1902 at the Teatro Lirico in Milan.
Barcelona premiere: 7/5/1903 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Last performance at the Liceu: 3/6/2012.
Total performances at the Liceu: 41.

Dates and tickets

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Approximate running time
3h 20min
Actes i mitges parts
  • First act 36min
  • Interval 6min
  • Second act 35min
  • Interval 30min
  • Third act 28min
  • Interval 20min
  • Fourth act 40min

Artistic profile

Stage director
David McVicar
This version
Justin Way
Set design
Charles Edwards
Andrew George
Costume design
Brigitte Reiffenstuel
Adam Silverman
Musical director assistant
Sergio Sáez
Musical assistants
Véronique Werklé, Carlos Sanchis Aguirre, David-Huy Nguyen-Phung and Jaume Tribó
Gran Teatre del Liceu, Royal Opera House (Londres), Opéra de Paris, Wiener Staatsoper and San Francisco Opera
Cor del Gran Teatre del Liceu (David-Huy Nguyen-Phung, director)
Orquestra Simfònica del Gran Teatre del Liceu
Patrick Summers

Cast change

  • The Gran Teatre del Liceu announces changes in the cast of Cilèa's Adriana Lecouvreur
  • We regret to announce that soprano Sonya Yoncheva has to cancel her participation in Adriana Lecouvreur because her dense schedule wouldn't allow her to rehearse sufficiently for this role debut. We are looking forward to her return to the Gran Teatre del Liceu in December 2024 as Madama Butterfly.

Hand program

Lectura fàcil Adriana

Plot summary

Liceu chronology

Explore the history of this title through the Annals of the Gran Teatre del Liceu Foundation: performance listings, casts, photographs, playbills, curiosities...

Annals of the Liceu

Liceu de les arts
Drom 16 to 30 June, 2024 | Mirror Room

Coinciding with the current migration crisis from East to West, Schellekens & Peleman have started work on The Inflatable Refugee. A large inflatable adult male figure that represents a seated refugee. 

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Adriana Lecouvreur

Francesco Cilèa
Turn A
Turn D-H
Turn B
Turn E
Turn P
Turn C AD