Andrea Chénier is a verismo opera in four acts by the composer Umberto Giordano, set to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica. It premiered on 28 March 1896 at La Scala, Milan. The opera's story is loosely based on the life of the French poet, André Chénier (1762-1794), who was executed during the French Revolution. The character Carlo Gérard is partly based on Jean-Lambert Tallien, a leader of the Revolution.
Andrea Chénier remains popular with audiences, though it is now less frequently performed than it was during the first half of the 20th century. One reason that the opera has stayed in the repertoire is due to the magnificent lyric-dramatic music provided by Giordano for the tenor lead, which gives a talented singer many opportunities to demonstrate his histrionic skill and flaunt his voice. Indeed, Giuseppe Borgatti's triumph in the title part at the first performance immediately propelled him to the front rank of Italian opera singers. Borgatti went on to become Italy's greatest Wagnerian tenor rather than a verismo-opera specialist.
|Instrumentation||Opera orchestra, Baritone, Bass, Mezzo-soprano, Soprano, Tenor, Chorus|