Conducted by Philippe Auguin and presented as part of a tribute to the 2021 bicentennial of the Greek Revolution.
The Greek National Opera will open in 2022 with four performances of Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chénier from January 29 to February 13 in Stavros Niarchos Hall at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.
The revival will be conducted by Philippe Auguin with stage direction, sets and costumes by Nikos Petropoulos. Sharing the three lead roles are internationally acclaimed soloists tenors Marcelo Puente and Marcelo Álvarez, sopranos Cellia Costea and Eva-Maria Westbroek, and baritones Dimitri Platanias and Elchin Azizov. The production, part of a tribute to the 2021 bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org].
The life and story of French revolutionary and poet, Andrea Chénier (1762-1794), who was of Greek ancestry on his mother’s side, is told through the opera that celebrates the ideals of the French Revolution that also inspired the Greek Revolution a few years later.
The production by Greek director and set designer Nikos Petropoulos premiered in 2000 and the revival is directed by choreographer Ion Kessoulis with the sets and costumes reflecting the historical period in which the work is set. Musically and theatrically, both composer and librettist (Luigi Illica) focus their attention on private, emotional elements, emphasizing that matters such as love and death are not tempered by broader social and political circumstances. The title page of the score reads “A Historical Drama” and, through his music, Giordano expands beyond the passions of his protagonists to encompass the clash between rival social groups within the setting of the French Revolution, referencing popular songs and dances of the day including the gavotte (a dance typical of the aristocracy), revolutionary anthem Ça ira, La Caramagnole, and the French national anthem La Marseillaise.
A cast of six internationally acclaimed singers will share the three main roles of Andrea Chénier, Carlo Gérard, and Maddalena di Coigny:
Tenor Marcelo Puente-who performs the title role on January 29 and February 13-has carved out an impressive career with appearances in lead roles at the world’s major opera houses. He first caught the attention of international audiences in the role of Pinkerton, performed to great success at the Royal Opera House in London under the baton of Antonio Pappano. Beyond London, he has also appeared at Opéra national de Paris, Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Scala in Milan, opera houses in Hamburg, Brussels, Toronto, Prague, and Zurich, and elsewhere. February 6 and 10 will see Marcelo Álvarez take over as Chénier. Mr. Alvarez has sung on such major international stages as the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House in London, Opéra national de Paris, the Vienna State Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid, La Scala in Milan, and elsewhere. His repertoire includes famous roles spanning everything from Bel Canto to French operas and works of verismo. He has worked with illustrious conductors, and his discography includes more than 30 recordings with such companies as Sony and Decca.
Leading Greek baritone Dimitri Platanias will perform the role of Gérard on February 6, 10, and 13, a role he sang to much acclaim at the Royal Opera House in London two years ago. Gérard will be played by the Azerbaijani baritone Elchin Azizov, who cut his artistic teeth at the Bolshoi Theatre, and who has appeared in productions at the Metropolitan Opera in New York since 2015, on January 29.
Performing the role of Maddalena on January 29 is the GNO’s foremost soprano of global renown, Cellia Costea. Ms. Costea made her debut in the role to great success at two major French opera houses- Opéra de Toulon and Opéra Nice Côte d’Azur- in 2019. Making her Greek National Opera debut in the role of Maddalena February 6, 10, and 13 is celebrated soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek. Ms. Westbroek has performed at major theatres and festivals around the world, from Bayreuth and Aix-en-Provence to the Met, London, Paris, Vienna, La Scala, Munich, Berlin, and beyond, working with the world’s leading orchestras, and appearing in productions staged by illustrious directors.
French conductor Philippe Auguin has collaborated for many years with renowned opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera House, Hamburg Staatsoper, the Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, as well as Los Angeles Opera, Opera Australia, Grand Théâtre de Genève and the opera houses of Cologne, Stuttgart and Dresden. He is the former Music Director of Washington National Opera (2010-2018) and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice (2010-2016). He was an artist-in-residence at Greek National Opera during the 2019-20 season and has conducted GNO productions of Tannhäuser, Nabucco, La sonnambula, and Don Carlo.
January 29 & February 6, 10, 13, 2022
Starts at: 19.30 (Sundays at 18.30)
Greek National Opera – Stavros Niarchos Hall
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre
Conductor: Philippe Auguin
Director – Sets – Costumes – Lighting: Nikos Petropoulos
Revival Director: Ion Kessoulis
Choreographer: Fausta Mazzucchelli
Revival Choreographer – Movement Coach: Stratos Papanousis
Lighting Revival: Christos Tziogkas
Chorus Master: Agathangelos Georgakatos
Andrea Chénier: Marcelo Puente (1/29, 2/13) / Marcelo Álvarez (2/6, 2/10)
Carlo Gérard: Dimitri Platanias (2/6, 2/10, 2/13) / Elchin Azizov (1/29)
Maddalena di Coigny: Cellia Costea (1/29) / Eva-Maria Westbroek (2/6, 2/10, 2/13)
Bersi: Marissia Papalexiou
La Contessa di Coigny: Chrysanthi Spitadi
Madelon: Julia Souglacou
Mathieu: Harris Andrianos
Roucher: Dionysios Sourbis (1/29, 2/13) / Yanni Yannissis (2/6, 2/10)
Pietro Fléville: Vagelis Maniatis
Fouquier-Tinville: George Mattheakakis
Un incredibile: Yannis Kalyvas (1/29, 2/13) / Christos Kechris (2/6, 2/10)
L’abate: Dionisios Melogiannidis
Schmidt: Vagelis Maniatis
Il maestro di casa: Marinos Tarnanas
Dumas: Dionysos Tsantinis
With the GNO Orchestra and Chorus, and members of the GNO Ballet
In the year 1789, we find Chénier supporting the Revolution from within Paris’ aristocratic circles and joining the revolutionary movement alongside Carlo Gérard, who goes from being a servant of the aristocracy to becoming one of the leading figures of the sans-culottes, common people of the lower classes actively involved in the revolutionary political struggle (dubbed sans-culottes-that translates literally as “without breeches”-since, unlike the aristocracy who wore silk breeches cut below the knee, they wore long trousers called pantaloons). However, the love of these two men for the same women tips their friendship into rivalry. Three years later, when Chénier is arrested as a conspirator against the Revolution, Gérard drafts the charges indicting him. Though Gérard will later realise the error of his ways and try to free the poet, his efforts are in vain and Chénier is led to the guillotine.
Ticket Prices: €15, €20, €35, €40, €50, €55, €60, €90
Students, Children: €15 | Restricted View Seating: €10
GNO Box Office at the SNFCC (+30 213 088 5700, 09.00-21.00 daily)
Please note that, in accordance with Greek government guidelines, the GNO’s auditoria at the SNFCC are operating at 100% capacity and are only open to persons who are vaccinated against or have recovered from Covid-19 (all audience members must present valid certificates proving their status, alongside an ID card or passport). Children aged between 4 and 17 years old must present a valid Covid-19 vaccination or recovery certificate, or the negative result of a self-test taken within the preceding 24 hours.
For more information, visit nationalopera.gr/en.