Verdi's Simon Boccanegra

Andreas Homoki (stage director), Fabio Luisi (conductor) — With Christian Gerhaher (Simon Boccanegra), Jennifer Rowley (Amelia Grimaldi), Christof Fischesser (Jacopo Fiesco)...

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Andreas Homoki — Stage director

Christian Schmidt — Costume designer, stage design

Florian Schaaf — Assistant stage designer

Sebastian Helmiger — Assistant costume designer

Franck Evin — Lighting

Fabio Dietsche — Dramaturgy

Christian Gerhaher — Simon Boccanegra

Jennifer Rowley — Amelia Grimaldi

Christof Fischesser — Jacopo Fiesco

Otar Jorjikia — Gabriele Adorno

Nicholas Brownlee — Paolo Albiani

Brent Michael Smith — Pietro

Zurich Opera Chorus

Janko Kastelic — Chorus Master

Zurich Opera House Orchestra

Fabio Luisi — Conductor

Program notes

Genoa, 14th century: the privateer and plebeian Simon Boccanegra is swept into power by a rallying crowd, stirred into a frenzy by his supporters Pietro and Paolo Albiani. He hopes that, in acceding to the title of doge, he will be able to sway his adversary, the aristocrat Jacopo Fiesco, into letting him marry Fiesco's daughter Maria. Fiesco accepts, conveniently neglecting to tell Boccanegra that Maria has just died, under the condition that Simon let him have the granddaughter born in secret to Simon and Maria—but she has gone missing…

An intensely political opera, Simon Boccanegra offers a glimpse of the internecine battles that wracked the various kingdoms of Italy all through the composer's life—especially in its 1881 version, presented here with richness and depth at the Zürich Opera House, led by an astonishing Christian Gerhaher in the title role. The tragedy takes on an extra, personal dimension in the biography of Verdi, who relived—through the character of Simon Boccanegra, for whom he bore a particular affection—the early loss of his wife and children…

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