Andrea Chénier

An ardent poet and a young noblewoman are passionately attracted only to be separated by the turmoil and terror of the French Revolution. Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts this powerful, melodic score in a lavish period production by acclaimed director David McVicar.

Music by Umberto Giordano | Libretto by Luigi Illica

Sung in Italian with English supertitles


The Revolution is real, vibrant, exciting and dangerous.

Yonghoon Lee made an impressive debut. Singing with big, muscular sound, his opening aria, ‘Un di all’azzurro spazio,’ came across with passionate emphasis.

The Mercury News

Anna Pirozzi rose to impressive heights with a fluent and eloquently shaped rendition of the great aria ‘La mamma morta.’

San Francisco Chronicle

George Gagnidze was compelling in an ultimately sympathetic role, and his big, rich voice flowed throughout the house, most effectively in his arresting Act 3 aria ‘Nemico della patria.’

San Francisco Examiner

Nicola Luisotti, conducting with his customary lushness and urgency, drew a sumptuous performance from the Orchestra.

The Mercury News

Passionate, engaging...clarion-clear with a sweet timbre.

San Francisco Examiner

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Under the shadow of the French Revolution and its Reign of Terror, a poet and a servant-turned-revolutionary compete for the affections of a young aristocrat.

Read Complete Synopsis ›

Cast & Creative

Andrea Chénier Yonghoon Lee*
Maddalena di Coigny Anna Pirozzi*
Carlo Gérard George Gagnidze*
Bersi J’Nai Bridges*
L'Incredibile Joel Sorensen
Mathieu Robert Pomakov
Roucher David Pershall*
Madelon Jill Grove
Contessa di Coigny Catherine Cook
Pietro Fléville Edward Nelson
The Abbé Alex Boyer
Dumas Brad Walker
Fouquier-Tinville Matthew Stump
Schmidt Anthony Reed
Major-Domo Anders Fröhlich


September 9, 14, 17, 22, 25, and 30, 2016

Conductor Nicola Luisotti
Director David McVicar
Set Designer Robert Jones*
Costume Designer Jenny Tiramani*
Lighting Designer Adam Silverman
Original Choreographer Andrew George
Revival Choreographer Colm Seery
Chorus Director Ian Robertson
Fight Director Dave Maier

 * San Francisco Opera Debut

A U.S. production premiere

A co-production with Royal Opera, Covent Garden and the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing

Previous performances of Andrea Chénier can be found in our Archive.

Program Articles

André Chénier: Poet, Prodigy, Political Martyr

Who was André Chénier? Author Jane Ganahl takes a look at the man that inspired the opera.

A History of the French Revolution

Go back in time with author William Doyle and learn about the events that led to the French Revolution.

The Redeeming Power of Andrea Chénier

Author Brian Kellow explores Giordano and Chénier’s success and criticisms over the years.

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Made Possible By

This production is made possible, in part, by Opening Weekend Grand Sponsor Diane B. Wilsey. Major support is also provided by: John A. & Cynthia Fry Gunn; Barbara A. Wolfe; Jan Shrem & Maria Manetti Shrem, through the Conductors Fund and the Emerging Stars Fund; and Joan and David Traitel, through the Great Singers Fund.

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Photo (top): San Francisco Opera production of Andrea Chénier/Cory Weaver