Italian composer Francesco Cilea was born in Palmi on 23 July 1866. Showing early talent, he studied at the Conservatory in Naples, and his early opera Gina came to the attention of Sonzogno publishers, who arranged for a further performance and commissioned a second opera.
In addition to a series of operas, of which Adriana Lecouvreur is the best known, Cilea also wrote orchestral and chamber music. Later he primarily worked as a teacher, becoming director of the Conservatorio Vincenzo Bellini in Palermo and then at the Conservatorio San Pietro a Maiella in Naples, retiring in 1936.
Francesco Cilea died in Varazze on 20 November 1950, aged eighty-four.
Ensemble. A Half-Successful Experiment - Teatro Comunale di Bologna's new production of Cilea's 'Adriana Lecouvreur', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Appreciation of Nature - Maria Nockin reviews a 'Met Stars' online concert from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, featuring Anna Netrebko, Elena Maximova and Pavel Nebolsin
Ensemble. The Belcanto Concerts - Giuseppe Pennisi sends his last report from this year's Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro
Ensemble. A Soothing Balm on our Troubled Time - Maria Nockin connects to Renée Fleming and Robert Ainsley's Metropolitan Opera recital from the Dumbarton Oaks Museum music salon in Washington DC
Ensemble. Bring Back the Blue and the Light - Maria Nockin was impressed by Jonas Kaufmann's recital with Helmut Deutsch in New York Metropolitan Opera's new 'Met Stars Live in Concert' series
Ask Alice - Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh visits Covent Garden for Francesco Cilea's 'Adriana Lecouvreur'
Musical Prowess - Robert Anderson's 'Opera Nights and Nightmares', read by Gerald Fenech
Ensemble. To Suit the Voice - Gregory Moomjy takes a sneak peek at the divas and divos of tomorrow, as heard at New York Metropolitan Opera's National Council auditions
Ensemble. Operatic Passions - Francesco Cilea's 'Adriana Lecouvreur', reviewed by Robert Hugill
DVD Spotlight. An Eloquent Performance - 'Adriana Lecouvreur', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... a chorus and orchestra beautifully responsive to the lyrical nuances of Cilea's score.'