Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Andrea Chenier Review

Umberto Giordano's "Andrea Chenier" is a major part of the operatic canon, but has rarely been performed regularly at the Metropolitan Opera. The last time Met audiences got a chance to see the verismo masterpiece was in 2007 when American tenor Ben Heppner took on the title role. For the revival on Monday, March 24, Argentinean tenor Marcelo Alvarez took on the work's eponymous character with Patricia Racette and Zeljko Lucic filling out the cast.
The production Nicolas Joel debuted back in 1996 and despite being inherently traditional in its trappings, remains modern in its intelligent use of space. "Chenier" does not really lend itself to a modern update or transposition of the action to a different locale of time period. The French Revolution is not simply mentioned in a few passing statements, but dominates the action of the work from the start to the finish. Continue Reading 


  1. Mr. Salazar, I wonder, who is from modern tenors could to perform very difficult, rich verismo role of Chenier better, than senior Alvarez does? May be, terrible de Leon? Yes, his lirico-spinto timbre is not big and fool of dark energy, as for example, Del Monaco's voice. But Alvarez pushes the sound in high register as Carreras usually did. And this tessitura's adaptation was not a problem for La Scala, when Carreras sang Chenier on it's stage. So, shining beauty and mobility of Alvarez's voice bring, nevertheless, elegant in Chenier's role, though you've find his legato's structure choppy before hight notes. In your opinion Lucic was a hero of the evening? With his woody sound, brutal vocal style and out of chiaroscuro? Oh, verismo is not Lucic's format. Listen to Pons in MET's production of Chenier - though, voice of spanish baritone had not full of colors and there was age's changing in vocal structure, his performance was splendid and had a rich beauty and organic phrasing, which would never appear in Lucic's voice. Lucic was an energy in this performance, but Alvarez was a charm and beauty.

    1. Absolutely agree with previous commenter - Marcelo Alvarez was the best performer of this cast. He has unique beauty of timbre, true tenor's shining and marvelous technical style. Lucic's sound had no vocal colors, no chiaroscuro, no rich lines of phrasing, no verismo melodic taste. Mr. Alvarez is the best Chenier today with perfect combination of amazing vocal beauty and rich passion.

  2. I absolutely agree with both opinions above. I also think Mr Alvarez was the star of the evening. He is wonderful Chenier - delightful to listen to. I suggest exchanging the link to Mr Salazar's review for this one, written by someone who really appreciated the Met's 'Andrea Chenier' and its star tenor!!!