George Gagnidze *
Maddalena di Coigny:
Anna Pirozzi *
J'Nai Bridges *
Contessa di Coigny (Maddalena's mother):
Yonghoon Lee *
Giordano's Andrea Chénier from the San Francisco Opera was a real treat. The above performers with * next to their names were making their San Francisco Opera debuts. My favorites in order were George Gagnidze, Anna Pirozzi, J'Nai Bridges and Yonghoon Lee. Gérard's aria in the prison scene was especially wonderful. I have seen Gagnidze a few times before. I'll try to remember him this time. This is an excellent group of debuts.
I saw this production in the film from the Royal Opera in London. I thought the final scene made a better effect here. I like the way the entire production looks.
Most surprising was Anna Pirozze who began her performance with a relatively small tone and continued to increase in volume until the really quite loud finale. It was thrilling. She was new for me.
I have seen Yonghoon Lee before in Il Trovatore from the Met. I felt he handled Verdi much better than he managed Giordano. Chénier is a role that best fits a voice like Mario del Monaco while Lee seems to try too hard and creates the impression he is struggling.
This is highly recommended from me. I enjoyed it very much.
I went to the lecture where we were told that Maddalena actually got away. Sigh.