Colonna, Adriano

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(Wagner: Rienzi). Mez. Travesti role. Son of Stefano Colonna who is the leader of the noblemen in their battle with the people of Rome, led by Rienzi. Adriano is in love with Rienzi's sister, Irene, and his loyalties are divided between his father and Rienzi. He supports Rienzi, but when his father is killed in a fight between the nobles and the people, he swears to avenge his death. However, he warns Rienzi of a plot to kill him, but is too late. The people, roused by the plotters, set fire to the Capitol and Rienzi and Irene are seen in the flames. Adriano attempts to rescue them but they are all killed when the building collapses. Aria: Gerechter Gott (‘Righteous God’). Created (1842) by Wilhelmine Schröder‐Devrient (who caused a fair amount of havoc during rehearsals, as she was used to singing the heroine and didn't take too kindly to the travesti role: at one rehearsal, when she was having difficulty with some of the music, she threw her copy at the composer and stormed out, but was coaxed back to continue).

Subjects: Opera.

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