- NEW PRODUCTION → OPÉRA ROYAL DE WALLONIE-LIÈGE
- WITH THE SUPPORT OF TAX SHELTER OF THE BELGIAN FEDERAL GOVERNEMENT AND CASA KAFKA PICTURES
LIBRETTO BY FRANCESCO MARIA PIAVE AND ARRIGO BOITO BASED ON A PLAY BY ANTONIO GARCÍA GUTIÉRREZ.
“The score, in its current state, is unthinkable,” was the reaction of Verdi on returning to Simon Boccanegra, an opera composed for Venice in 1857 that faded from memory due to its lack of success. It was the publisher Ricordi who incited the composer in 1881, to revisit the work in collaboration, for the first time, with Boito, the future librettist for Otello. Once reworked and amplified, the score met with success in Milan and became the first major chapter of the master’s later works.
Simon Boccanegra is assuredly the most endearing father and barytone of the Maestro’s entire works. The relationship with his daughter is gentle and affectionate. He tries to avoid all conflicts and a deadly war with Venice. When betrayed and poisoned, he remains dignified and displays great nobility of character. Verdi was fond of this unique character, a political tool in spite of himself, extolling Italian unity and demonstrating extraordinary humanist goodwill. With Italy unified twenty years previously and the composer, ten years into his retirement, having become a national treasure, it was time, before thinking about reacquainting himself with Shakespeare and his Otello, to restore the prestige to an unloved work and to make it the last symbol of Risorgimento whilst amplifying the psychological and political stature of a great man.
Gary Mc Cann