Umberto Giordano's Andrea Chénier (1896) presents a fictionalized account of the last years of the French poet André Chénier, guillotined during the Reign of Terror in 1794. It is the greatest of Giordano's operas, and shows why Puccini sometimes feared Giordano as a rival. Taking the starring role of Chénier, with its three marvellous arias, is Jonas Kaufmann, Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek sings the role of Chénier's beloved Maddalena (which includes the great aria 'La mamma morta', a favourite with Maria Callas) and Serbian baritone Željko Lu?i? stars as Carlo Gérard - the servant-turned-revolutionary who is Chénier's rival for the love of Maddalena. With a string of successful productions for The Royal Opera to his name, including Rigoletto and Les Troyens, director David McVicar brings Giordano's thrilling historical drama back to the Royal Opera House for the first time since 1985 in a stunning new production.