By the middle of the twentieth century, Umberto Giordano had established himself as a leading figure in the verismo (realistic) school of opera composition, rivaling Leoncavallo and Mascagni in importance. Today his fame rests on a single work, Andrea Chénier, first performed in 1896. Based on the life of a French poet, the intense and dramatic story unfolds amid the tumult of the French Revolution. The real-life figure who inspired this drama was initially a fervent supporter of the Revolution but spoke out against the violence of mob rule. Andrea Chénier recounts the poet's love for a young aristocrat and the conflict with his comrade and romantic rival, with whom he is honor-bound to fight a duel. A staple of opera houses all over the world, the work appears here in a large-format, durable, and modestly priced edition.