Giuseppe Verdi
1813 - 1901

Melodrama with a prologue and three acts
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, after the play by Antonio Garcia y Gutiérrez, new version Arrigo Boito
First performed March 12th 1857, Teatro La Fenice, Venice
2nd version first perfomed 2nd March 24th 1881 La Scala, Milan

Sung in Italian with German surtitles
Duration: c. 3 hrs incl. one interval

About the Piece

The sea! What magic it held for Verdi! In Otello and Boccanegra this element is portrayed in the orchestra to great ...
The sea! What magic it held for Verdi! In Otello and Boccanegra this element is portrayed in the orchestra to great effect. Civil war raged in 14th Century Genoa with the aristocracy and plebeians fighting for power. After Boccanegra, a corsair, is elected Doge he hopes that Fiesco will allow him to marry his daughter Maria, with whom he already has a child. Fiesco agrees on condition that Boccanegra hand his daughter over to his care but Boccanegra does not know where she is. Fiesco keeps Maria’s death a secret from him.
Amelia has grown up with the Grimaldo family. She loves Gabriele Adorno, an aristocrat. During a visit by Boccanegra to arrange a marriage between Amelia and Paolo Albani, father and daughter recognise each other. The wedding is not going to take place and Paolo decides to take revenge. He arranges for Amelia to be kidnapped, blackmails Adorno into murdering the Doge, which Amelia prevents, and finally poisons the Doge. Adorno comes over to Boccanegra’s side when he finds out that he is Amelia’s father. Before Boccanegra dies he is reconciled with his enemy Fiesco and calls on Adorno to marry Amelia and rule after him. Simon Boccanegra is, without doubt, one of Giuseppe Verdi most political works. His and Arrigo Boito's second edition was performed for the first time in 1881. Here, for the first time, Verdi brought the »colore storico e locale« of Grand opéra he discovered in Paris to the Italian stage, to colour the tragic fate of a ruler, patriotism and paternal love. According to Dallapiccola Verdi's blending of nature with the characters' emotions is unique in the history of Italian opera. The sea, its constant movement, are beautifully mirrored in Amelia's aria, the a cappella chorus and Boccanegra's monologue. The pirate Simon Boccanegra is made Doge on the same night that his beloved, Maria Fiesco, died. 25 years later Boccanegra finds their long lost daughter, Amelia, who has been brought up by his political enemies and is in love Gabriele, a young aristocrat. Paolo, a courtier, wants to get rid of Boccanegra. He manages to administer some poison to the Doge. Before he dies, Boccanegra is reconciled with Fiesco, Maria's father and his deadly enemy, and names Gabriele Adorno as his successor.


Civil war in Genoa. Boccanegra, a corsair is voted in as the new Doge. He hopes that Fiesco will now allow him to marry his daught ...
Civil war in Genoa. Boccanegra, a corsair is voted in as the new Doge. He hopes that Fiesco will now allow him to marry his daughter Maria, who has already born him a daughter, who was handed over to a foster mother as soon as she was born. Fiesco agrees but only on condition that he hands the child over to him. Boccanegra says that the foster mother’s house was attacked and the child has vanished. Fiesco does not tell him that Maria has died. 25 years later: Maria, now Amelia, has grown up with the Grimaldi family and is love with Gabriele Adorno, an aristocrat. Boccanegra comes to ask her to marry Paolo Albani, the leader of the people’s party. Boccanegra realises that she must be his lost daughter. They are overjoyed. Paolo, furious that the wedding will now not take place, takes revenge by persuading Adorno to kill the Doge, by saying that Amelia and he are lovers. Just to be sure he also puts poison in Boccanegra’s drinking water. The Doge knows that Adorno plans to kill him. Maria tells him that she is in love with Adorno. Needing time to think about this over he drinks some water. Boccanegra awakes to find Adorno, weapon in hand. He tells Adorno that Amelia is his daughter. Adorno feels ashamed that he doubted Amelia and the Doge. There is fighting in the streets. Adorno promises to join the Doge’s side and negotiate peace. The people have won. Paolo is sentenced to death for fighting against the Doge’s party. Boccanegra is dying. Fiesco, who came to witness the Doge’s suffering, now finds out the Amelia is his granddaughter. The make peace. Boccanegra takes his farewell from his daughter and names Adorno as his successor. Boccanegra dies.

Friday 24.04.2015

Further performances:
02.05.2015  | 09.05.2015  |
17.05.2015  | 31.05.2015  |
06.06.2015  | 12.06.2015


Carlo Montanaro
Christof Loy
Revival rehearsed by
Tobias Heyder
Stage Designer
Johannes Leiacker
Costume Designer
Bettina Walter
Norbert Abels
Lighting Designer
Olaf Winter
Chorus and Extra Chorus Master
Tilman Michael

Simon Boccanegra
Christopher Maltman / Lucio Gallo
Amelia Grimaldi
Guanqun Yu / Jessica Strong*
Jacopo Fiesco
Bálint Szabó
Andreas Bauer
Gabriele Adorno
Wookyung Kim
Paolo Albiani
Johannes Martin Kränzle
Magnús Baldvinsson

Oper Frankfurt's Orchestra, Chorus and Extra Chorus

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