Opera: Sopranos' Week

The way to greet the opening of the Metropolitan Opera's 84th season last week was with a polite nod—at least for the events onstage. The premiere production was Francesco Cilea's 1902 opera Adriana Lecouvreur, a sometimes saccharine, sometimes sobbing account of the tragic love life of an 18th century Comédie Française actress.* As opera, it was more soap than grand. For color and drama, it did not compare to the opening-night shows out front and backstage.

The most striking entrance of the evening, for example, was made not by one of the...

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