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Giuseppe Verdi

Simon Boccanegra

Librettist: Francesco Maria Piave; later revisions by Arrigo Boïto
Based on a play by Antonio Garcia Gutiérrez

Cast of Characters

  • Amelia Boccanegra, (soprano) sometimes called Maria and Amelia Grimaldi in Act I
  • Gabriele Adorno, (tenor) a patrician
  • Simon Boccanegra, (baritone) a plebeian, later Doge
  • Jacopo Fiesco, (bass) a patrician
  • Paolo Albiani, (baritone) a plebeian
  • Pietro, (bass) a plebeian
  • A Captain, (tenor)
  • Commoners, sailors, courtiers, senators, maid, and palace-guard captain.


Fourteenth century in and near Genoa.


12th March 1857; Teatro la Fenice, Venice, Italy.


Paolo and Pietro plot to have Boccanegra elevated to Doge of Genoa. Boccanegra had a daughter by Fiesco's daughter Maria who has just died. Fiesco plots to destroy Boccanegra once he has been elected Doge. Fiesco cannot forgive Boccanegra for having a child by Maria out of wed-lock. Paolo wants Amelia for his wife. She wants nothing to do with him for she is in love with Gabriele Adorno. The Doge visits Amelia and realizes she is his lost daughter. He refuses Paolo's request for Amelia's hand. Paolo plots to kidnap her, but is foiled by Gabriele. Gabriele believes the Doge to have been behind the plot now knowing of the bond between Boccanegra and his daughter. The situation is further aggravated by Fiesco who tells Gabriele of the Doge's desire for Ameila. Only too late is the truth revealed of their relationship as Paolo in an act of desparation poisons Boccanegra.

Memorable sections of music

Il lacerato spirito
Figlia, a tal nome

Act I scene II Council Scene
Sento avvam par
Trio: Perdon, Amelia

Copyright © 1996, Stephen L. Parker.