Andrea Chénier - Schedule, Program & Tickets

Andrea Chénier

ACT I: Gérard, servant to the Countess de Coigny, mocks the aristocracy and their manners. Seeing his father struggle with a piece of furniture, Gérard laments the suffering of all servants under their arrogant masters (´Son sessant´anni´). Maddalena, the Countess´ daughter, appears and Gérard admits to himself his love for her. Busy with preparations for that evening´s soirée, the Countess scolds Maddalena for not yet being dressed. Maddalena complains to her servant, Bersi, about the discomfort of the current fashions and then runs out to change. Among the guests to arrive is Fléville, a novelist, who has brought with him the rising poet, Andrea Chénier. After the Abbé relates the latest depressing news from Paris, Fléville enlivens the party with a pastorale he has written for the occasion. Maddalena then teases the reluctant Chénier into improvising a poem (´Un dì all´azzurro spazio´). Chénier scandalizes the guests with his criticism of the indifference of the clergy and the aristocracy to the suffering of the impoverished. The guests´ gavotte is interrupted by Gérard bringing in a group of starving peasants. The Countess orders Gérard out along with the rabble. The guests are then invited to return to the gavotte, but they take their leave instead, and the Countess remains alone.

ACT II: The Revolution has begun, and the Reign of Terror is in full force. To fend off Incredibile, a spy, Bersi pretends to be a daughter of the Revolution (´Temer? Perchè?´). Incredibile is not deceived and takes note of Chénier waiting for someone in the Café Hottot. Chénier is joined by his friend Roucher, who has brought a passport so Chénier may leave the country safely. Chénier says his destiny is to remain to find the love he has never had and to discover who has been writing him anonymous letters. Roucher suggests the letters are a trap by one of the ladies of the evening. A procession of dignitaries led by Gérard interrupts their conversation. Incredibile takes Gérard aside to ask about the woman for whom he is searching. Gérard describes Maddalena to him. Meanwhile, Bersi asks Chénier to wait at the café for someone who wants to meet him. Maddalena appears and reveals to Chénier that it was she who wrote the letters. They pledge to love each other until death (´Ora soave´). Incredibile, having spied Chénier and Maddalena together, brings Gérard to the scene. Gérard is wounded as Chénier defends Maddalena. Gérard, however, recognizes Chénier and sends him on his way, telling him to protect Maddalena. When the gathering crowd asks who wounded Gérard, he answers that his assailant was unknown.

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