Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu celebrates 25 years since her Royal Opera debut as she returns to the Royal Opera House to reprise the title role in David McVicar’s production of Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, which she created in this production in 2010.
She will sing Adriana in five performances (7, 10, 17, 24, 27 February 2017), reaching her 150th performance with The Royal Opera on 27 February – a significant milestone for one of the leading artists of the past three decades.
Angela Gheorghiu made her Royal Opera debut in 1992 singing Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Mimì (La bohème).
She has since appeared for the Company 145 times, as Liù (Turandot), Nina (Chérubin), Micaëla (Carmen), Violetta Valéry (La traviata), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Magda de Civry (La rondine), Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Antonia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Nedda (Pagliacci), Amelia Grimaldi (Simon Boccanegra), Marguerite (Faust), Mimì, Tosca and Adriana Lecouvreur.
In 1994 Angela Gheorghiu received worldwide acclaim when she sang Violetta Valéry in the first staging of Richard Eyre’s now celebrated production of Verdi’s La traviata. Her success in the role (under the baton of The Royal Opera’s former Music Director Georg Solti) led to BBC Two clearing its regular schedule and transmitting a performance live from the Royal Opera House.
Since then, Angela Gheorghiu has regularly performed for leading opera houses worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York, La Scala, Milan, Vienna State Opera, Liceu, Barcelona, and Paris Opéra.
In 2006 Angela Gheorghiu created the title role in Jonathan Kent’s new production of Puccini’s Tosca for The Royal Opera, returning to reprise the role in 2009, 2011 and 2016.
The production replaced Franco Zeffirelli’s legendary 1964 staging of the work which featured such notable Toscas as Maria Callas and Montserrat Caballé.
Several of Angela Gheorghiu’s performances with The Royal Opera (including Adriana Lecouvreur, Tosca and Faust) are available on DVD.
To mark Angela Gheorghiu’s 25th anniversary with The Royal Opera, Warner Classics have re-released Live from Covent Garden, a 2001 live recital given by Angela Gheorghiu with Ion Marin and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.
Image: Angela Gheorgiu as Adriana Lecouvreur in Adriana Lecouvreur © ROH / Catherine Ashmore 2011