Live Cinema Season

Andrea Chénier (2015)

Recorded | Opera

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (including 1 interval)

Andrea Chénier (2015)

David McVicar directs a new production of Umberto Giordano’s passionate drama of liberty and love in the French Revolution, starring Jonas Kaufmann and Eva-Maria Westbroek conducted by Antonio Pappano.

The story

The poet Andrea Chénier and the servant Carlo Gérard both love the young aristocrat Maddalena. When Maddalena loses everything in the French Revolution, Chénier offers her protection, and so incites the envy of Gérard, now a powerful official.

Chénier is arrested during the Terror. Gérard, spurred by his jealousy, condemns him. Maddalena makes a desperate appeal, and Gérard tries, too late, to defend Chénier. Gérard helps Maddalena to join Chénier in prison, and the lovers face the guillotine together.


The premiere of Andrea Chénier at La Scala, Milan, on 28 March 1896 propelled the young Umberto Giordano to the front rank of the giovane scuola (an up-and-coming group of young Italian composers that included Puccini and Mascagni). The opera exemplifies the verismo style that dominated Italian opera of the period – nowhere more so than in Giordano's skilful interpolation of different musical styles to provide local colour, from the aristocratic Gavotte of Act I to the Marseillaise in Act IV. The libretto by Luigi Illica (Puccini’s collaborator for Manon Lescaut, La bohème, Tosca and Madama Butterfly) was inspired by the real-life Romantic poet André Chénier, who was guillotined just three days before Robespierre's execution.

Andrea Chénier has become celebrated for the lyrical music it offers the tenor who takes the leading role, with the off-the-cuff Improvviso of Act I and his final aria 'Come un bel dì di maggio' particular highlights. But there are thrilling moments for the whole cast, including Maddalena's ardent aria 'La mamma morta', Gérard’s 'Nemico della patria!’ and a host of dramatic duets and characterful ensembles. David McVicar (whose productions for The Royal Opera include Le nozze di Figaro, Faust and Die Zauberflöte) directs The Royal Opera's new production, moving from the opulence of pre-Revolutionary France to the horrors of the Reign of Terror.



Umberto Giordano


Luigi Illica


David McVicar

Set designer

Robert Jones

Costume designer

Jenny Tiramani

Lighting designer

Adam Silverman

Movement director

Andrew George


Antonio Pappano
Andrea Chénier
Jonas Kaufmann
Maddalena de Coigny
Eva-Maria Westbroek
Carlo Gérard
Željko Lučić
Denyce Graves
Elena Zilio
Contessa de Coigny
Rosalind Plowright
Roland Wood
Pietro Fléville
Peter Coleman-Wright
Eddie Wade
Adrian Clarke
The Incredibile
Carlo Bosi
Peter Hoare
Jeremy White
Major Domo
John Cunningham
Yuriy Yurchuk
Royal Opera Chorus
Concert Master
Peter Manning
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Andrea Chénier Digital Programme

Andrea Chénier Digital Programme

Digital Programmes bring together a range of specially selected films, audio clips, pictures, articles, features, news and information, as well as exclusives and updates, and highlights from the Royal Opera House website, YouTube, SoundCloud and Flickr pages. Features are added as the performances approach, to enhance your experience of a production.

Cast sheets

Cast sheets are available as PDFs

News and features

To find out more visit the Andrea Chénier (2015) production page.