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Encyclopedia > Simon Boccanegra

Simon Boccanegra is an opera with a prologue and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play Simón Bocanegra by Antonio García Gutiérrez. It was first performed at Teatro La Fenice, Venice in March 12, 1857. The revised version, with text changes by Arrigo Boito, was first performed at La Scala, Milan in March 24, 1881. Sydney Opera House: one of the worlds most recognizable opera houses and landmarks Opera refers to a dramatic art form, originating in Europe, in which the emotional content or primary entertainment is conveyed to the audience as much through music, both vocal and instrumental, as it is through the... Giuseppe Verdi, by Giovanni Boldini, 1886 (National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome). ... A libretto is the complete body of words used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, sacred or secular oratorio and cantata, musical, and ballet. ... Francesco Maria Piave Francesco Maria Piave (18 May 1810 – 5 March 1876) was an Italian librettist who was Verdis life-long friend and collaborator. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Antonio García Gutiérrez (July 5, 1812 - August 6, 1884), Spanish dramatist, was born at Chiclana (Cádiz), and studied medicine in his native town. ... Teatro La Fenice (the phoenix) is an opera house in Venice, Italy. ... Venice (Italian: Venezia, Venetian: Venexia) , the city of canals, is the capital of the region of Veneto and of the province of Venice in Italy. ... March 12 is the 71st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (72nd in Leap years). ... 1857 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Arrigo Boito (February 24, 1842 – June 10, 1918) was an Italian poet, successful journalist, novelist and composer, best known today for his opera libretti and his own opera, Mefistofele. ... La Scala by night This article is about the opera house. ... Milan (Italian: Milano; Milanese -dialect of Lombard-: Milán) is the main city of northern Italy, and is located in the plains of Lombardy, the most populated and developed region in Italy. ... March 24 is the 83rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (84th in Leap years). ... 1881 (MDCCCLXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...

Simon Boccanegra is part of the standard operatic repertoire. There are a several recordings of it, and it is occasionally performed. This page lists famous operas arranged by composer. ...



  • Principal roles
    • Simon Boccanegra, a corsair, later the first Doge of Genoa - Baritone
    • Maria Boccanegra, his daughter, known as Amelia Grimaldi - Soprano
    • Jacopo Fiesco, a Genoese nobleman, known as Andrea - Bass
    • Gabriele Adorno, a Genoese gentleman - Tenor
  • Minor roles
    • Paolo Albiani, a goldsmith and the Doge’s favourite courtier - Bass
    • Pietro, a Genoese popular leader and courtier - Baritone
    • Captain of the Crossbowmen - Tenor
  • Other
    • Amelia’s maid - Mezzo-soprano
    • Soldiers, sailors, people, senators, the Doge’s court, prisoners - Chorus

In music, a baritone (from Greek βαρυτονος deeply, heavily sounding) is a male voice of intermediate pitch, between bass and tenor. ... Look up Soprano in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A basso (or bass) is a male singer who sings in the lowest vocal range of the human voice. ... In music, a tenor is a male singer with a high voice (although not as high as the modern countertenor). ... A mezzo-soprano (meaning medium soprano in Italian) is a female singer with a range usually extending from the A below middle C to the F an eleventh above middle C. Mezzo-sopranos generally have a darker (or lower) vocal tone than sopranos, and their vocal range is between that...


Time: The middle of the 14th century.
Place: In and around Genoa.


Paolo persuades Pietro to support the nomination of Simon Boccanegra for doge of Genoa. Boccanegra arrives and agrees to stand, thinking that Fiesco would then allow him to wed his daughter, who is being held prisoner in her father's gloomy palace just to prevent such a union. Pietro rallies support for Boccanegra. Fiesco enters, stricken with grief over his daughter's death. He does not tell Boccanegra. Boccanegra accosts Fiesco and begs forgiveness. Fiesco promises clemency only if Boccanegra lets Fiesco have his granddaughter. Boccanegra explains he cannot for the child has vanished. Boccanegra finds his beloved's body as the people hail Boccanegra as the new doge.

Act I

Scene 1

Twenty-five years later. The doge has exiled many of his political opponents and confiscated their property. In the Grimaldi castle, Fiesco, to avoid discovery, is using the name Andrea Grimaldi, plotting with Boccanegra's enemies to overthrow him. Unknowingly, years earlier, the Grimaldis had adopted Boccanegra's child and Fiesco's granddaughter after discovering the orphan in a convent. They called her Amelia, hoping that she would be the heir to their family's fortune, their sons having been exiled. Amelia awaits her lover, Gabriele. He arrives, and she warns him of the dangers of political conspiracy. Word arrives that the doge is coming. Amelia, fearing that a forced marriage to Paolo is to be arranged, urges Adorno to ask her father for permission to marry. Fiesco agrees and reveals that Amelia is actually a penniless foundling. When Adorno says that he does not care, Fiesco blesses the marriage. Boccanegra enters. He pardons Amelia's exiled brothers, but she refuses to marry Paolo. When she tells Boccanegra that she was adopted, he realizes that she is his long-lost daughter. Finally reunited, they are overcome with joy. When Paolo enters, Boccanegra denies permission for the arranged marriage. Furious, Paolo decides to kidnap Amelia.

Scene 2

The senate is in session. The doge is interrupted by the sounds of a mob demanding Boccanegra's head. He orders the doors opened, and the crowd bursts in, chasing Adorno. Adorno confesses to killing Lorenzio for the attempted kidnapping of Amelia, ordered by an unknown high ranking official. Adorno guesses it is must be Boccanegra and is about to attack him when Amelia rushes in and stops the fight. Boccanegra has Adorno arrested for the night. Discerning that Paolo is the actual man responsible, he makes everyone, including Paolo, utter a curse on the real kidnapper.

Act II

Paolo and Fiesco discuss plans to murder Boccanegra, but Fiesco refuses. Paolo next tells Adorno that Amelia is the doge's mistress, hoping Adorno will murder Boccanegra. Amelia enters, and Adorno accuses her of infidelity. She claims only to love Adorno, but does not explain that Boccanegra is her father for Adorno's family was killed by the doge. Adorno hides as Boccanegra enters. Amelia vows to Boccanegra that she would die for Adorno. Boccanegra agrees to pardon him. He drinks from a poisoned glass of wine and falls asleep. Adorno tries to kill him, but Amelia stops him. Boccanegra wakes and reveals that Amelia is his daughter. Adorno begs for forgiveness and promises to fight for the doge.


Paolo is condemned to death for leading the uprising against the doge. Fiesco is released from prison. Paolo tells Fiesco that he has poisoned Boccanegra. Fiesco confronts Boccanegra, who is now dying. Boccanegra recognizes his old enemy, but is happy to tell him that Amelia is his granddaughter. Fiesco feels great remorse and tells Boccanegra about the poison. Adorno and Amelia, newly married, find her father and grandfather have reconciled. Boccanegra asks that Adorno be named his successor, and after the doge dies, Fiesco proclaims it so.

Noted arias

  • "Come in quest'ora bruna" (Amelia)
  • "Il lacerato spirito" (Fiesco)
  • "Plebe! Patrizi!" (Boccanegra)

  Results from FactBites:
Simon Boccanegra @ Royal Opera House, London : opera review (779 words)
In the Prologue we learn that Simon Boccanegra, an ex-pirate, has been having an affair with Maria Fiesco, daughter of his arch-rival Jacopo Fiesco - meanwhile, Boccanegra is appointed to the position of Doge with help from Paolo.
When Simon accidentally discovers Amelia, they are overjoyed, but Paolo's demand for Amelia's hand in marriage in return for helping Simon to the post of Doge is refused because Amelia already loves another.
Eventually Fiesco and Boccanegra are reconciled, the latter leaving his daughter in the care of the former, and Gabriele is named as the new Doge as well as being given the hand of Amelia in marriage.
NPR : Verdi's 'Simon Boccanegra' (1474 words)
Simon (Dmitri Hvorostovsky, center), on the verge of death, is comforted by Amelia (Olga Guryakova) and Adorno (Marco Berti), in Simon Boccanegra from Houston Grand Opera.
She refuses to reveal her true relationship to Simon and Adorno is convinced that she's betrayed him.
Simon can now accept the peace that Fiesco offered as the opera began and reveals that Amelia is his daughter, and Fiesco's granddaughter.
  More results at FactBites »



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