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Giuseppe Verdi

I Due Foscari

"Brevity is never a defect." ~ Verdi in a letter to Piave

Librettist: Francesca Maria Piave
Based on The Two Foscari, a play by Lord Byron.

Cast of Characters

  • Francesco Foscari, (baritone) Doge of Venice
  • Jacopo Foscari, (tenor) his son
  • Lucrezia Contarini, (soprano) Jacopo Foscari's wife
  • Jacopo Loredano, (bass) Member of the Council of Ten
  • Barbarigo, (tenor) a Senator
  • Pisana, (mezzo-soprano) Friend and confidant of Lucrezia
  • Attendant on the Council of Ten, (Tenor
  • Servant of the Doge, (bass)
  • Members of the Council of Ten and the Junta, Maidservants of Lucrezia, Venetian Ladies, Crowd and masked men and women; Jailors, Gondoliers, Pages and the two sons of Jacopo Foscari.


Venice, Italy in 1457.


Teatro Argentina, Rome, Italy; 3rd November 1844.


Jacopo has returned to his homeland to see his family despite being exiled years before for murder. As a result of the interception of a letter he wrote to the Duke of Sforza, he is sentenced to finish his life in exile. His father, the Doge, is powerless to save him. Another confesses to the murder, but it is too late as Jacopo dies upon leaving the shores of Venice. Lordano completes his vengeance by rousing the Council of Ten and Senators to demand the Doge's resignation. He does and as his successor is proclaimed, he dies.

Memorable Music

Chorus of the Council of Ten
Dal più remoto esilio
Eccomi solo alfine
Notte! perpetua notte che qui regni!

Quartet: Ah, sì il tempo che mainon s'arresta
Ensemble: Queste innocenti lagrime
Tace il vento
Egli ora parte!

Additional Information

  • Performance History
  • Synopsis
  • Arias and Choruses
  • Libretto
  • Historical Notes
  • Discography
  • Pictures

Copyright © 1996, Stephen L. Parker