Sunday, December 10, 2017

Andrea Chénier from La Scala

Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
Staging: Mario Martone

Andrea Chénier: Yusif Eyvazov
Maddalena di Coigny: Anna Netrebko
Carlo Gérard: Luca Salsi
La mulatta Bersi: Annalisa Stroppa
La Contessa di Coigny: Mariana Pentcheva
Madelon: Judit Kutasi
Roucher: Gabriele Sagona

Giordano's Andrea Chénier is an opera about the French revolution.  The only other one I can think of is Dialogues of the Carmelites which sees the terror from a somewhat different perspective.  It is curious that no opera sees the revolution from the side of the revolutionaries.

This is a wonderful traditional staging from La Scala Milano.  In the first scene the staging is very clear with the revolutionaries' faces appearing through the windows. As I work my way through the scenes, they are all well done and easy to follow.  Not too much detail, not too little.  This is lovely, with well handled chorus, and all the elements of an excellent traditional staging.

"Viva la morte insiem."  Long live death together.  Sort of a self cancelling phrase.  I have been listening to German versions of Italian operas for so long I have forgotten what the Italian version sounds like.  Yusif is actually more highly regarded in Italy.  His steely tone cuts right through the orchestra when necessary.  He and Netrebko are gradually merging into each other.  Will we like the result?

I love this opera and have very much enjoyed its recent popularity.  I realize it will soon disappear, but that's no reason not to love it now.  The poet falls in love and stays behind in France to protect his love.  As a result, he is executed.  It is an opera about love. Maddalena tells us that an angel has kissed her.  This is the exterminating angel.  He has marked her for death.

Chailly knows his Italian repertoire and gives us a stylistically excellent reading. Lovely.  This is the one.


Paul said...

The Massenet opera "Thérèse" is set during the French Revolution. Also, the assassination of Marat is captured in the 1980s opera, "Charlotte Corday," by Italian composer Lorenzo Ferrero (and no, I've never heard of him!) commissioned to commemorate(if that's the correct term) the 200th anniversary of the Revolution.

Dr.B said...

Thank you, Paul.