The Sunday Opera: Umberto Giordano's "Andrea Chenier" from London's Royal Opera House
Two of Umberto Giordano’s thirteen operas will be featured on this week’s Sunday Opera (7-28 3:00 p.m.) First, we conclude our series from London’s Royal Opera House with what is probably his best known work, “Andrea Chenier,” which is about the 18th century French poet who was sent to the guillotine by a jealous man because of his love for Maddalena, who is also loved by that man, Carlo Gerard. The cast includes Roberto Alagna as Chenier, Sondra Radvanovsky as Maddalena who switches places with another so that she can die with Chenier, and Dimitri Platanias as the jealous Gerard.
The cast also includes Christine Rice as Maddalena’s maid Bersi, Rosalind Plowright as Maddalena’s mother the Coutessa Di Coigny, and Carlo Bosi as the treacherous Revolutionary spy, the Incredible. Daniel Oren is the conductor. Stay tuned after the opera for the second Giordano work, “La cene della beffe” which translates roughly to “The Fool’s Dinner.” This is another tragedy brought about by jealousy. The Chiaramantesi brothers, Neri and Gabriello, abscond with the mistress (Ginevra) of and then mock Giannetto Malespini by placing him in a sack and prick him with their swords before throwing him in the Arno. Giannetto begins his plan of revenge which ends with murder, madness, and suicide and a hollow victory. The cast includes Rita Lantieri, Marco Chingari, Babio Armiliato, and Francesco Marini with Gian Paolo Sanzongno conducting the Orchestra Sinfonica di Paicenza.