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By Burton D. Fisher

Giordano's ANDREA CHENIER, that includes critical Characters, short tale Synopsis, tale Narrative with tune spotlight Examples, and a entire and insightful research and remark.

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Example text

Words communicate and provoke thought; music evokes feeling and emotion. In Andrea Chénier, composer and librettist succeed in providing sublime musical theater: a libretto that is saturated with nobility, and music that dutifully dramatizes its idealistic soul.

A lthough Andrea Chénier is the title character of the opera, Carlo Gérard is its hero, the former de Coigny servant who becomes an impassioned revolutionary, who seethes with revenge against his former masters, and becomes a leader of the Revolution who participates in the duplicity and injustices of the Terror. But by the end of the tragedy, Gérard’s soul transforms into nobility: his true humanity transcends the hypocrisy of the Revolution. At the very beginning of the first act, Gérard speaks of the impoverished underclasses of society, which provides a prelude to the class warfare that is about to erupt in the Revolution.

The publisher Sonzogno vacillated about producing Andrea Chénier, deeming the story’s underlying fanaticism and terror too risky to portray during those volatile times: in particular, the rebellion of peasants led by Gérard at the conclusion of Act I. ) Nevertheless, Illica romanticized Chénier’s tragic fate, concluding the melodrama in a love-death of almost Wagnerian proportions. But Illica’s libretto is saturated with profound humanistic ideals: Andrea Chénier is an opera about noble ideas. Illica heroically expresses Chénier’s profound idealism by adapting the historical Chénier’s poetry, particularly his writing in prison just before his execution.

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