Love and revolution – a truly volatile mix!
The National TheatreApproximate running time
2 hours 30 minutes, 1 intermission 20 minutesLanguage
In Italian, subtitles in Czech, EnglishPremiere
May 5, 2016
Owing to the torrential dramatic music, as well as the atmosphere of the story set amid the French Revolution, Andrea Chénier is one of the pinnacles of global opera. Its style is markedly Italian, with the sound colour and melody akin to that of Puccini and the forcibility of the crowd scenes reminiscent of Verdi’s operas. Giordano’s piece depicts the drama of a love triangle, featuring the aristocrat Maddalena, the revolutionary Gérard and the poet Chénier. An initially innocent flirtation transforms into a desperate and wild passion.
The National Theatre Chorus and Orchestra
A true gem of Italian verismo opera, Giordano’s Andrea Chénier was presented at the National Theatre in Prague in 1897, a mere year after its world premiere at La Scala in Milan and three months following its first performance in Hamburg, conducted by Gustav Mahler. It had not been staged at the National Theatre for almost 120 years, until the premiere of the current production, on 5 May 2016.
For lovers of Italian Romantic opera, Andrea Chénier is a must-see. Giordano’s music clearly reveals that it hails from the country that gave the world Giuseppe Verdi’s and Giacomo Puccini’s sublime operas. The libretto is based on the fictitious story of the French poet André Chénier, one of the last victims of Robespierre’s Reign of Terror in 1793 and 1794. In Giordano’s opera, the persecuted aristocrat Maddalena writes secret love letters to Chénier; Gérard, who has become a major representative of the Jacobin regime and a popular politician, abuses his power owing to his personal interest in Maddalena; while the dreamer Chénier, the omnipresent terror notwithstanding, keeps believing in liberty, inspiration and love. Yet love amidst revolutionary turmoil is a dangerous matter indeed …
The current production is conducted by Petr Kofroň, and directed by Michal Dočekal.
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