I adore opera, and I like Andrea Chenier a great deal. As much as I consider Fedora one of those underrated treasures that I encountered recently, Giordano's masterpiece will always be Andrea Chenier. The story does draw me in every time I hear or view it, as do the characters-I often under-estimate how complex Carlo Gerard really is-, and the music is magnificent.
This 1985 production is really quite impressive. The costumes and sets look great, likewise with the lighting and video directing. What could have improved for me was the picture quality, when I watched it it was quite blurry.
That aside, the orchestra and conducting are spot on too, the final scene is very moving and the acting/singing from the three leads are superb. Placido Domingo's, a tenor I have always loved, beautiful voice shown in full flight in his superb rendition of L'inprovviso is full of lyricism and heroism, and his acting is always compelling in the title role.
The more I hear and see Anna Tomowa-Sintow, after first encountering her truly excellent performance in the wonderful 1984 Met production of Simon Boccanegra, the more I am impressed by her. She has a beautiful, limpid voice of great power and control with a dark centre to it, and particularly in La Mamma Morta she does sings musically too. Her acting and chemistry with Domingo is also credible, though she struck me as more maternal than a romantic interest.
I also think Giorgio Zancanaro nails the difficult role of Carlo Gerard, while the "villain-of-the-piece" sort of character somewhat, particularly in the final scene there is also something human about him, basically he is the revolutionary with a conscience. Zancanaro shows consistency in his acting and sings beautifully, and of the big arias, his Nemico De La Patria was my personal favourite performance of any aria of this production.
Overall, very impressive. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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