France in the year 1789. The aristocracy revels, the people groan. And between two stools stands the poet André Chénier. Cherished by the rich for his moving verses, in his heart he remains a revolutionary.
André Chénier, the most famous work by the Italian composer Umberto Giordano, is a brilliantly vivid historical drama and a human tragedy of shattering intensity. Set against the background of the French Revolution, the opera has strong appeal both as a passionate love story and as a historical thriller. André Chénier is based on the life of a real historical character, a French poet who got caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, first as an ardent supporter and then as a victim, mercilessly persecuted and ultimately sent to the guillotine.
Giordano’s music is charged with a furious enthusiasm and stirring emotions. Historical dances and marches from the time before the French Revolution can be heard in the opera as well as classic Revolution era songs including “Ça ira” and the Marseillaise.