Lecouvreur, Adriana

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(Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur). Sop. An actress (a real person, she lived 1692–1730, but the plot of the opera is pure fiction). She has fallen in love with Maurizio, not knowing him to be the Count of Saxony, pretender to the Polish throne. She gives him a bunch of violets, which he then passes to his lover, the Princess de Bouillon. The later shows these to Adriana, who gets her own back by talking of the Princess's promiscuity. On Adriana's birthday she receives a box of violets. They are from the Princess and are soaked in poison—their perfume proves fatal. Aria: Ecco: respiro appena (‘See: I'm hardly breathing’). Created (1902) by Angelica Pandolfini.

Subjects: Opera.

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