New Production! The ambiguities of Verdi’s theatre are particularly clear in his baritone roles, among which is that of Boccanegra, corsair turned Doge of Genoa and the troubled observer of the conflicts that tore apart 14th century landowners and peasants.
A searing and eminently political opera in which power struggles are interwoven with family conflicts, Simon Boccanegra echoes the life of its composer – the man who championed the cause of Italian unification and overcame the loss of his wife and children. Written in the late 1850s following the triumphs of La Traviata, Rigoletto and Il Trovatore, and revised some years later as a mature composer, this captivating and intensely emotional score bears the hallmarks of Verdi at his greatest.
In the murky political waters of 14th century Genoa, the elected ruler Boccanegra (here, the exceptional French baritone Ludovic Tézier), once a pirate captain, is now a powerful man. But the secrets of his past haunt him: twenty-five years ago, his young lover Maria died, and their daughter mysteriously vanished.
Maria’s nobleman father Jacopo Fiesco (Mika Kares), swore vengeance, and now lives in hiding, plotting with Gabriele (Francesco Demuro), the lover of Amelia (Maria Agresta) his adopted daughter, to overthrow the Doge. Boccanegra is about to discover his lost daughter in the most unexpected place, but is it too late to change the course of his life? And who can he trust? In the Council of Genoa, friendly faces hide dark intentions, and Boccanegra’s enemies are already rising…
Calixto Bieito, that most Shakespearean of opera directors, brings humanism and truth to a work haunted by gleaming images of the sea. Fabio Luisi conducts.