Simon Boccanegra occupies a special place in the work of Giuseppe Verdi. Founded in 1857, four years after La Traviata , on the same stage of the teatro la Fenice in Venice, the work will be in the same failure. This fiasco, however, is not due to the character licentious of the work, but to a form of chauvinism venetian: Venice didn’t like that one évoquât the Doge of a city other than his own. Boccanegra says the fratricidal struggles which flared up in the city of Genoa, in the Fourteenth century. The corsair Simon Boccanegra becomes doge of the powerful genoese town, and must face the intrigues, the conspiracies, the bassesses that are always corollaries of power.
It is known that Verdi was a soul engaged, and that the metaphors policies come often behind the plots of his operas. Rigoletto, Nabucco, A masked ball, Macbeth, Don Carlos, Attila, of course Otello and many other dramas are also reflections on the exercise of power, its dangers, its mirages, its dizziness. Boccanegra is often considered the most profound of them, because its plot is focused really on the political dimension of the work.
Verdi asked his last librettist, Arrigo Boito, to play the “script doctors” to heal the booklet sick of”Simon Boccanegra”
Is this who rebuked the public of the creation, which was waiting for the entertainment? It is still the case that the work returned quickly to the closet. But – as we know – Verdi was an artist stubborn. When he was unhappy of an opera or of his home, he did not hesitate to plunge it to improve it. As well ” he said several times his Macbeth , to sharpen at the option of the years, this youth work. And he said to his ultimate librettist, Arrigo Boito, to play the “script doctors” to heal the booklet sick of Simon Boccanegra . It is in march 1881, when Verdi was already working on Otello (even a doge!) the Scala of Milan hosts the new version of Boccanegra . Twenty-four years after its creation, the success will be waiting for you. Since then, Simon Boccanegra is part not of the most popular works of the musician, but of those who are beloved of the locals, pure and hard; they see it as the epitome of a music devoid of effects, where the balance between the text and the music recalls Wagner, and which avoids any mawkishness. Besides, there was the character of Maria, Boccanegra is an opera man, and of men serious: baritones and basses constitute the group’s central distribution.
One expects of course a lot of Ludovic Tézier in the role the lighthouse, where it should give all the intensity of his talent, the image of the bronze of his voice. At his side, Maria Agresta will be a “women’s quota” to fly high. Hope, finally, that the staging of Calixto Bieito will not sink not too many open doors in the field of the political metaphor, because this work is a honey for these directors that are said to be “committed”.
Simon Boccanegra, to the Opera Bastille, place de la Bastille (XIIe). Tel.: 08 92 89 90 90. Dates: 15 nov. 13 dec., at 19: 30. Seat: from 5 to 195€.