Andrea Chénier is one of the best known Verismo operas by Italian opera composer Umberto Giordano, yet is very rarely performed. Its NNTT premiere in December 2005 marked just the third time the opera had been produced in Japan. The production design is by the Paris-born and bred Philippe Arlaud. In Arlaud's production, the viewer sees onstage the presence of the multitude of people who lost their lives amid the tumult, as the story is advanced by the loves fostered in the hearts of the characters. Each act is punctuated by the guillotine, and the stage art takes visual cues from iconic paintings of the times. For the first act, it is the work of Fragonard from the Rococo period; for the second act, Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix; for the third, the dark, weighty work of Goya; and for the fourth, the work of Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich. The opera challenges us living in the present to consider whether the chain of history, one in which violence begets violence, can be broken. French-born conductor Frederic Chaslin will bring his fluid style to the score, making this a musical experience worth the wait.