Power struggles among rival families in 14th-century Genoa, a story of tragic love, a young girl gone missing… Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra combines the perfect ingredients for gripping dramatic opera with a strong political message. On the stage of the Salzburg Festival, this sharp critique of power set to music is brought to life by the voices of Luca Salsi, Marina Rebeka, René Pape, Charles Castronovo, and others, who join the exceptional Valery Gergiev for a captivating performance.
Besides being one of Italian opera’s most famous composers during his own lifetime, Giuseppe Verdi was an intensely engaged supporter of Italian unification, going so far as to be elected a representative and ultimately a senator in the Italian legislature. But it is in his role as composer, when his opera Simon Boccanegra was performed at Milan’s La Scala and in Rome, that he made his biggest political impact: crowds took up his masterful arias, singing “Viva Verdi”, a codename for “Viva Vittorio Emmanuele re d’Italia” (“Long live Vittorio Emmanuele, King of Italy”). A musical masterpiece with striking political overtones!
Photo: Valery Gergiev © Alberto Venzago