“Kaufmann is performing the title role for the first time, and it’s hard to imagine him bettered. His striking looks make him very much the Romantic and romanticised outsider of Giordano’s vision. His voice, with its dark, liquid tone, soars through the music with refined ease and intensity: all those grand declarations of passion, whether political or erotic, hit home with terrific immediacy.” – The Guardian Presented in its Covent Garden premiere in January 2015, this staging – directed by David McVicar and conducted by the Royal Opera’s Music Director, Sir Antonio Pappano – shows a bloody tricolour daubed with the words “Even Plato banned poets from his Republic” – written by Robespierre on the death warrant of the historical Chénier, a poet and journalist sent to the guillotine in 1794 for criticising France’s post-revolutionary government. Andrea Chénier was a great success at its premiere at La Scala, Milan, on 28 March 1896. It established Giordano as a leading member of Italy’s giovane scuola, and has remained Giordano’s most popular opera, with occasional productions at leading opera houses. This production is the first by The Royal Opera since 1984. Of Giordano’s later operas, only Fedora (1898) has attracted some continued interest.