Download e-book for kindle: Andrea Chenier (Opera Journeys Mini Guide) by Burton D. Fisher

By Burton D. Fisher

Giordano's ANDREA CHENIER, that includes relevant Characters, short tale Synopsis, tale Narrative with song spotlight Examples, and a complete and insightful research and observation.

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Sample text

You are an ugly and corrupted race of dandies and felons. I, a son of servants, and a servant in livery shall be your judge in livery. ” In Act III, Gérard has experienced his epiphany and now searches for truth: his aria, “Nemico della patria,” is perhaps the dramatic centerpiece of the entire opera, Gérard’s moment of profound introspection, in which he communicates with his conscience and realizes that all he has achieved is that he has become a slave who recycles hatred and tyranny. He is a survivor, caught in the satanic waves of the Revolution; he has become transformed into lechery and sacrificed his morality, pride and noble convictions.

G iordano’s music dutifully captures the heightened passions of the Revolution. Like his verismo contemporaries striving for realism, he was particularly skilful in integrating elements of local and historical color into his music scores: Mala Vita captures Neapolitan ambience through dance rhythms; Siberia recalls its setting though Russian folk music. In Andrea Chénier, Giordano ingeniously captures the spirit of the Revolution through subtle though realistic musical touches: in Act II the “Ah, ça ira” accompanies the cart of prisoners headed for the Andrea Chénier Page 31 guillotine; in Act III, the “Carmagnole” is heard from the crowd outside as Mathieu sweeps the Tribunal hall; and in Act IV, “La marseillaise” is hummed by Mathieu during the interval between Chénier’s farewell aria, “Come un bel di di maggio,” and the arrival of Gérard and Maddalena into the prison.

Giordano poured a wealth of passion into Andrea Chénier, but the greatness of the opera is its magnificent blend of poetry with lyrical passion. A ndrea Chénier is a rescue opera, but it is a failed rescue that is unlike Beethoven’s Fidelio, in which the heroine joins the hero in a death cell and succeeds in freeing him. In Andrea Chénier, the lovers unite, but both hero and heroine die as martyrs for the betrayed ideals of the French Revolution. The opera story focuses on the reversal of fortunes of each of its principal characters that are the results of transitions caused by the French Revolution, but the soul of the opera — both musically and intellectually — is the romantic and idealistic poet, Andrea Chénier.

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