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Simon BoccanegraNew production

OpernhausFalkenstrasse 1, Zürich, 8008, Switzerland
December 06 19:00, December 10 18:30, December 13 19:00, December 16 19:30, December 19 19:00, December 22 20:00, 2021 January 03 13:00, January 08 20:00, January 12 19:00
Programme
Verdi, Giuseppe (1813-1901)Simon BoccanegraLibretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Performers
Zurich Opera
Fabio LuisiConductor
Andreas HomokiDirector
Christian SchmidtSet Designer, Costume Designer
Christian GerhaherBaritoneSimon Boccanegra
Christof FischesserBassJacopo Fiesco
Jennifer RowleySopranoAmelia Grimaldi (Maria Boccanegra)
Otar JorjikiaTenorGabriele Adorno
Nicholas BrownleeBass-baritonePaolo Albiani
Ildo SongBassPietro
Siena Licht MillerMezzo-sopranoAmelia's maid
Savelii AndreevTenorCaptain
Franck EvinLighting Designer
Fabio DietscheDramaturgy
Janko KastelicChoirmaster / chorus director
Zurich Opera Chorus
Chorzuzüger
Zusatzchor der Oper Zürich
Philharmonia Zürich

Ever since he freed Genoa from a plague of pirates, one-time social outcast Simon Boccanegra has enjoyed immense popularity. Paolo Albiani, the People’s Party leader, wants to destroy the nobility’s power and, with his own political goals in mind, urges Boccanegra to run for office of doge. Reluctantly, Boccanegra agrees; he hopes his new social status will help him win back his beloved Maria, who was denied to him by her father, the nobleman Fiesco. But while Boccanegra is celebrated as the new doge in the city, he learns that his beloved has died in her father’s house. With a prologue as dramatic as this, set in the darkest hours of the night, it’s clear that in this opera, destinies both private and political are tragically intertwined. But back to our story: the main plot picks up 25 years later, with Boccanegra still doge. Amelia, the daughter he thought lost to him, returns, but Boccanegra loses her once again, this time to her noble lover, Gabriele Adorno. A scheming Paolo, who also has his eye on Amelia, is publicly humiliated. Seeking revenge, he poisons the doge.

The text by Antonio García Gutiérrez, which draws from medieval history, inspired Giuseppe Verdi to create a stirring drama, set against a politically fraught background. The peace efforts set off in the 14th century by the Genovese doge Boccanegra find parallels in the 19th century attempts at Italian unification. But above all, Verdi succeeds in musically capturing the nature of powerful and power-hungry men in this melodrama, which he composed for Venice in 1857 and subsequently extensively reworked with Arrigo Boito in 1881. 

Following his performances as Alban Berg’s Wozzeck and Hein Holliger’s Lenau, internationally acclaimed baritone Christian Gerharer appears as Somon Boccanegra, once again making a role debut in a production by Andreas Homoki. Fabio Luisi musically directs a new Verdi production for the last time as general music director.

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