Simon Boccanegra

  • Music
  • Classical and opera
Critics' choice
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English Touring Opera's first new Verdi production for several years is his mature masterpiece and intimate drama. The story comes from the history of Genoa, for centuries a great maritime republic, and represents an impassioned plea for Italian unity. The composer’s musical depiction of the shimmering Mediterranean is wonderful; so too are the characters he creates, from the rough-hewn buccaneer-turned-ruler Simon Boccanegra, to his spiteful adversary and father-in-law; from the embittered traitor Paolo to the idealistic Adorno.

Cast includes Craig Smith (Simon Boccanegra), Elizabeth Llewellyn (Amelia), Keel Watson (Jacapo Fiesco) and Grant Doyle (Paolo Albiani). The director is James Conway; Michael Rosewell conducts a 26-piece orchestra. (Sung in Italian with English surtitles. Running time: two hours and 35 minutes.)