Adriana Lecouvreur

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PreviousNovember 1970


Place: Paris
Time: 1730


Act 1

Backstage at the Comédie-Française

Preparing for a performance, the company bustle around Michonnet, the stage manager. The Prince de Bouillon, admirer of the actress Duclos, is with his companion, the Abbé. Adriana enters reciting. Complimented, she sings 'Io son l'umile ancella' ("I am the humble servant of the creative spirit"). The Prince hears that Duclos is writing a letter, and arranges for its interception. Left alone with Adriana, Michonnet wants to express his love for her. However, Adriana explains she has a lover: Maurizio, a soldier in the service of the Count of Saxony. She is unaware that Maurizio is in reality the count himself. He enters and declares his love for Adriana, 'La dolcissima effigie'. They agree to meet after the performance. Adriana gives him some violets to put in his buttonhole. The Prince and the Abbé return. They have obtained the letter from Duclos, in which she requests a meeting with Maurizio later that evening near the Prince's villa. The Prince decides to arrange a party for the company at the villa in order to expose Duclos and Maurizio. He sends Duclos's letter on to Maurizio, who then cancels his appointment with Adriana. After receiving his notification on stage, she agrees to join the Prince's party.


Act 2

A villa by the Seine

The Princess de Bouillon, not the actress Duclos, is waiting for Maurizio and expresses her love for him: 'Acerba voluttà, dolce tortura'. When he enters, she sees the violets and asks how he came by them. Maurizio presents them to her. Nevertheless, despite being grateful for her help at court, he admits he no longer loves her. Although she guesses he has a lover, he won't reveal her name. The Prince and the Abbé suddenly arrive and the Princess hides. Maurizio realizes they think he is with Duclos. Adriana enters and learns Maurizio's true identity. He tells Adriana the assignation was political. They must arrange the escape of the woman who is in hiding. Adriana trusts him and agrees to help. During the intermezzo that follows, the house is darkened, which Adriana uses to tell the Princess she can escape. However, the two women are mutually suspicious and the rescue attempt turns into a blazing quarrel before the Princess finally leaves. The stage manager Michonnet notices that the Princess has dropped a bracelet, which he gives to Adriana.


Act 3

The Hôtel de Bouillon

Maurizio has been imprisoned for debt, whilst the Princess is desperate to discover the identity of her rival. The Prince, who has an interest in chemistry, is storing a powerful poison that the government has asked him to analyze. At a reception given by the Prince and Princess, guests note the arrival of Michonnet and Adriana. The Princess thinks she recognizes the latter's voice. When the Princess announces that Maurizio has been wounded in a duel, Adriana faints. However, soon afterwards, when Maurizio enters uninjured, Adriana is ecstatic. He sings of his war exploits, 'Il russo Mencikoff'. A ballet is performed: the 'Judgement of Paris'. Adriana learns that the bracelet Michonnet found belongs to the Princess. In growing recognition that they are rivals for Maurizio's affection, the Princess and Adriana challenge each other. When the former pointedly suggests that Adriana should recite a scene from 'Ariadne abandoned', the Prince asks instead for a scene from Phèdre. Adriana uses the final lines of the text to make a headstrong attack on the Princess, who determines to have her revenge.


Act 4

A room in Adriana's house

Michonnet is waiting. Adriana is consumed with anger and jealousy. Members of the theatre company come to visit her, bringing her presents on her name day and trying to persuade her to return to the theatre. Michonnet has retrieved a diamond necklace, previously pawned by Adriana to help Maurizio pay off his debts. A casket is delivered with a note from Maurizio. Adriana looks at the note and immediately feels unwell. She looks in the box and takes out the faded violets that she had once given Maurizio in the theatre. She is hurt that he should send them back to her. She kisses the flowers, 'Poveri fiori', and throws them in the fire. Maurizio enters. He wishes to marry her. Although they embrace, he realises she is shaking. Maurizio tells her that he didn't send the flowers. She becomes deranged. Michonnet and Maurizio realize that she has been poisoned. For a moment, she becomes lucid again, 'ecco la luce', but then dies.

Program and cast

Vienna State Opera

Public Transport

Subway lines: U1, U2, U4
Trams: 1, 2, D, J, 62, 65
Buses: 59A
Local Railway: Badner Bahn
Stops: Karlsplatz / Opera

Taxi stands are available nearby.


Parking is only € 6, - for eight hours!

The Wiener Staatsoper and the ÖPARK Kärntner Ring Garage on Mahlerstraße 8, under the “Ringstraßengalerien”, offer the patrons of the Vienna State Opera a new, reduced parking fee. You can park in the Kärntner Ring Garage for up to 8 hours and pay only a flat fee of € 6, -. Just validate your ticket at one of the discount machines inside the Wiener Staatsoper. The normal rate will be charged for parking time greater than 8 hours. The validation machines can be found at the following coat checks: Operngasse, Herbert von Karajan-Platz, and the right and left and balcony galleries.

Important: In order to get the discount, please draw a ticket and do not use your credit card when entering the garage!

After devaluing your ticket in the Wiener Staatsoper you can pay comfortably by credit card or cash at the vending machines.

The machines accept coins and bills up to 50.- Euro. Parking time longer than 8 hours will be charged at the normal rate.


The structure of the opera house was planned by the Viennese architect August Sicard von Sicardsburg, while the inside was designed by interior decorator Eduard van der Nüll. It was also impacted by other major artists such as Moritz von Schwind, who painted the frescoes in the foyer, and the famous "Zauberflöten" (“Magic Flute”) series of frescoes on the veranda. Neither of the architects survived to see the opening of ‘their’ opera house: the sensitive van der Nüll committed suicide, and his friend Sicardsburg died of a stroke soon afterwards.


On May 25, 1869, the opera house solemnly opened with Mozart's Don Giovanni in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth.
The popularity of the building grew under the artistic influence of the first directors: Franz von Dingelstedt, Johann Herbeck, Franz Jauner, and Wilhelm Jahn. The Vienna opera experienced its first high point under the direction of Gustav Mahler. He completely transformed the outdated performance system, increased the precision and timing of the performances, and also utilized the experience of other noteworthy artists, such as Alfred Roller, for the formation of new stage aesthetics.


The years 1938 to 1945 were a dark chapter in the history of the opera house. Under the Nazis, many members of the house were driven out, pursued, and killed, and many works were not allowed to be played.


On March 12, 1945, the opera house was devastated during a bombing, but on May 1, 1945, the “State Opera in the Volksoper” opened with a performance of Mozart's THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO. On October 6, 1945, the hastily restored “Theaters an der Wien” reopened with Beethoven's FIDELIO. For the next ten years the Vienna State Opera operated in two venues while the true headquarters was being rebuilt at a great expense.


The Secretary of State for Public Works, Julius Raab, announced on May 24, 1945, that reconstruction of the Vienna State Opera would begin immediately. Only the main facade, the grand staircase, and the Schwind Foyer had been spared from the bombs. On November 5, 1955, the Vienna State Opera reopened with a new auditorium and modernized technology. Under the direction of Karl Böhm, Beethoven’s FIDELIO was brilliantly performed, and the opening ceremonies were broadcast by Austrian television. The whole world understood that life was beginning again for this country that had just regained its independence.


Today, the Vienna State Opera is considered one of the most important opera houses in the world; in particular, it is the house with the largest repertoire. It has been under the direction of Dominique Meyer since September 1, 2010.

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