Opera Rara - Adriano in Siria

After the phenomenally received performance at the Royal Opera in Versailles, it is time for ICE Krakow! The internationally renowned Capella Cracoviensis led by Jan Tomasz Adamus will perform a concert version of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s opera seriaAdriano in Siria (Hadrian in Syria). The Krakow orchestra, which specialises in historical performances, will be accompanied by one of the best soloists in the world – the excellent countertenor Franco Fagioli, who is at the height of his abilities – and the famous alto Romina Basso, well-known by the Krakow audiences. Performing alongside them will be Artem Krutko, Juan Sancho, Dilyara Idrisova and Keri Fuge. The Polish premiere of the Neapolitan’s work will take place on the 3rd of March at 7:00 PM in the Theatrical Hall of the ICE Kraków Congress Centre. 

The three-act opera is the third opera seria of four, composed by Perolesi in 1734. Adriano in Siria, like his other drammi per musica, languished in obscurity for more than 250 years, overshadowed by the magnificent Stabat Mater, which he wrote on his deathbed, as well as his comic operas and intermezzos. Meanwhile, during his lifetime, the composer was a leading figure in the musical world of Naples, thanks to his works intended for the stage. Today, when his legacy is being restored and finally revealed to modern audiences, we can see that the fact that his works were forgotten was completely unfounded, and now we can finally appreciate his compositional mastery. Adriano in Siria is based on a libretto by Pietro Metastasio, but the Neapolitan composer introduced many far-reaching changes to it in order to allow the famous castrato Caffarelli, who was at the height of his career at the time, to present his vocal talents. Because of this, the titular future emperor Adriano is relegated to the background, reduced to a mere pretext for the showcase by Farnaspe, the Parthian prince, who was in love with the beautiful Emirena, daughter of Osroa, King of the Partian Empire. The plot thickens when Emirena decides to marry Adriano to save the kingdom from Roman slavery; however, in the final choral piece, the lovers are united in marriage by the moved emperor. 

At only 24, Pergolesi knew perfectly well how to build the action around the greatest voice known in the Kingdom of Naples. Farnaspe’s first entrance foreshadows that the most exceptional pieces of the score will be dedicated to him. The first two acts are crowned with showcase arias (respectively, “Lieto così tal volta” with a concert oboe and “Torbido il volto” with an echo effect), which were once performed by Caffarelli. Today, they are performed just as brilliantly by Franco Fagioli. Meanwhile, the third act ends with a choral piece, preceded by a joyful duet, in which not only the primo uomo can shine, but also his partner.

“Capella Cracoviensis, conducted by Jan Tomasz Adamus, is almost completely perfect”, “it emphasises the sound of the voices, ranging from lively and witty overtures, pleasant to the ear, to recitatives, which are accompanied by music that treats the voices in a tender and respectful manner” – these are excerpts from just two of the many positive reviews that have appeared in media after the premiere of the concert version of Adriano in Siria at the Opéra Royal. Critics praised the soloists, singling out the flawless Argentine Frango Fagioli and Romina Basso, with her soft matte alto. The pair will perform as Prince Farnaspe and his beloved Emirena in Krakow. Also appearing on the stage of the ICE Kraków Congress Centre will be Russia countertenor Artem Krutko as the Roman emperor and governor of Syria Hadrian (Adriano), Spanish tenor Juan Sancho (Parthian King Osroa), young Russian soprano Dilyara Idrisova as the noble Sabine and British Keri Fuge (soprano) as the treacherous tribune Aquilio. 

Tickets for the concert will be available from the 26th of January 2016, starting at 10.00 AM through the eventim.pl portal, as well as four Info Krakow information points: Św. Jana 2, at the Wyspiański Pavillion (Wszystkich Świętych 2), at the Cloth Hall (Market Square 1/3) and at the Tourist Service Centre (Powiśle 11). The ticket prices range from 40 PLN to 120 PLN. 

The concert is organised by the City of Krakow, the Krakow Festival Office and Capella Cracoviensis.

ICE Kraków

3rd of March 2016

Starting at 7:00 PM




Media contact

All journalists interested in the events organized in the ICE Kraków, please contact

Michał Zalewski
Media contact

Tel.: 0048 513 099 671 / 0048 12 354 23 20