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Andrea Chénier

25 Feb 2018

Yesterday Julia and I had an unexpected couple of hours to spare so we went to a performance of Giordano's opera "Andrea Chénier" at a local cinema. It was a film of the opening night of a production at La Scala two months ago; husband-and-wife duo Yusuf Eyvazov and Anna Netrebko in the leading roles and Riccardo Chailly conducting.

It was absolutely wonderful. Great singing and an excellent production. We knew of the opera, of course, and had heard excerpts, but had never before seen or heard the whole thing. We're now wondering why it has taken so long to catch up with it. It's really very, very good.

The story of Cheniér has a little extra piquancy for us. When we were living in Paris in 1998/99 we visited the Picpus cemetery on the eastern outskirts, where the victims in the closing period of the Terror were buried in mass graves. We have a photo of a memorial plaque for Cheniér and his friend Roucher (small role in Act 2), who are both buried there, along with the Carmelites whose story in the basis for Poulenc's opera.

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