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By Burton D. Fisher

Giordano's ANDREA CHENIER, that includes critical Characters, short tale Synopsis, tale Narrative with track spotlight Examples, and a accomplished and insightful research and observation.

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Sample text

Gérard’s inner soul transforms from lechery, and he heroically vows to use all of his powers to save Chénier from the guillotine, the man he earlier falsely accused. ”) In Act I, Maddalena de Coigny is seen as a young aristocrat rebelling against society’s conventions: before the ball she refutes the ugly fashions she must wear. But in Act II, five years later, after the aristocracy’s fortunes were overturned by the Revolution, the ex-aristocrat has become a pathetic victim of the Revolution, fearing for her life, and seeking the assistance of Andrea Chénier.

Essentially, the story portrays the love of Chénier and Maddalena set against reversals of fortune caused by the transitions set into motion by the Revolution. But Illica peoples the cast with a host of clearly defined cameo characterizations, each serving to portray human despair in the struggle to survive during the heightened period of the Terror: the devoted mulatto maid Bersi who sacrifices her virtue for her former aristocratic mistress; the Incredibile who spies unconscionably for the Revolution; the old and blind Madelon who sacrifices her only grandson to the Revolution; Mathieu who becomes confounded by his inability to comprehend the reasons for the transformation of idealistic dreams into anarchy and chaos; and the jailer Schmidt, who is ready and willing to sacrifice his ideals for money.

Maddalena indeed comes to Gérard and confronts him with an appeal to save her beloved Chénier. Gérard, exulting in his triumph, explodes into a Scarpia-like assault on Maddalena. But Maddalena, the intended victim, becomes the victor after Gérard realizes the intensity of her love for Chénier; he is overcome by profound compassion. Gérard’s inner soul transforms from lechery, and he heroically vows to use all of his powers to save Chénier from the guillotine, the man he earlier falsely accused.

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