Andrea Chénier by Umberto Giordano was first performed in 1896, the year that also saw the premiere of La bohème. It was an immediate success and established Giordano, not yet 30, as one of the leaders of the so-called ‘giovane scuola’, the group of young composers seeking to take Italian opera forward after the end of Verdi’s long creative life.
The opera is set during the French Revolution. The librettist, Luigi Illica, took his inspiration not from a literary model but from the real-life figure of André Chénier, a poet and revolutionary who was guillotined in 1794. The music for Chénier and his aristocratic lover Maddalena is powerfully passionate, while Giordano also makes skilful use of revolutionary songs and pastiches of 18th-century music.
The performance will be conducted by Gianluca Marcianò, COG’s Artistic Director, who led us in several great performances earlier in his career. It provides a notable vehicle for a charismatic tenor and we are delighted to welcome Gwyn Hughes Jones as Chénier, along with Yuriy Yurchuk as Gerard and Claire Rutter as Maddelena. Others in the cast include Yvonne Howard and Fiona Kimm.
There will be a pre-opera talk for ticket holders 4:45-5:15pm, to be given by Simon Bainbridge.
Tickets are available from the Queen Elizabeth Hall (book here) or phone bookings on 020 3879 9555.
Tickets for our last event of the year, Orfeo ed Eurydice, are on sale at Cadogan Hall (book here).