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By Burton D. Fisher

Giordano's ANDREA CHENIER, that includes central Characters, short tale Synopsis, tale Narrative with song spotlight Examples, and a finished and insightful research and remark.

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Additional resources for Andrea Chenier (Opera Journeys Mini Guide)

Sample text

Gérard’s inner soul transforms from lechery, and he heroically vows to use all of his powers to save Chénier from the guillotine, the man he earlier falsely accused. ”) In Act I, Maddalena de Coigny is seen as a young aristocrat rebelling against society’s conventions: before the ball she refutes the ugly fashions she must wear. But in Act II, five years later, after the aristocracy’s fortunes were overturned by the Revolution, the ex-aristocrat has become a pathetic victim of the Revolution, fearing for her life, and seeking the assistance of Andrea Chénier.

But the final duet of Andrea Chénier is perhaps the most sublime moment of the opera, a duet saturated with genuine passions, whose Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series Page 34 bravado never fails to electrify and arouse its audience to a frenzy. As Chénier and Maddalena await the guillotine, they celebrate the consummation of their love, a transcendent destiny of death in which their love will become eternal and immortal. ”) Chénier and Maddalena were victims of the barbarism that had transformed the idealism of the French Revolution into the inhuman savagery of the Reign of Terror, but in their eternal love, they became the victors.

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. Those heroic signature arias, “Un di all’azzuro spazio,” “Si fui soldato” and “Come un bel dì di maggio,” each expresses the heroic agony of the poet, his courage against insurmountable villainy and injustice.

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