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Simon Boccanegra by Verdi returns to La Scala, Lorenzo Viotti directs, protagonists Luca Salsi, Eleonora Buratto, Charles Castronovo
The direction is by Daniele Abbado, with seven performances scheduled
Organized by: Teatro alla Scala Foundation

Teatro alla Scala Foundation Presents

“ Season 2023/24 | Opera "
In Milan from 1 to 24 February 2024 the Teatro alla Scala presents a new exhibition of Simon Boccanegra, a work that plays a fundamental role in the artistic journey of Giuseppe Verdi. There are seven performances on the bill, with the direction of Lorenzo Viotti and directed by Daniele Abbado, also responsible for the scenes together with Angelo Linzalata; the costumes are instead designed by Nana Cecchi, the lights from Alexander Carletti.

On stage, Luca Salsi he is the protagonist in the role of Simone, a new role that adds to the gallery of Verdi characters already interpreted at La Scala; Eleonora Buratto, after her personal triumph in the Contes d'Hoffmann she returns to La Scala as Amelia/Maria, marking her long-awaited debut in a Verdi opera at the Piermarini; the part will be supported by Anita Hartig in the performances of February 21st and 24th. One of the most successful American tenors makes his debut at La Scala in the role of Gabriele Adorno, Charles Castronovo, which on the 21st and 24th alternates with the emerging Italian Matteo Lippi. Ain Anger, highly applauded Pimen in the Boris which opened last season, is Fiesco, while Roberto de Candia is Paolo Albiani.

Simon Boccanegra, a drama focused on conflicts and the solitude of power, is a complex, dark work with a tormented management: after the uncertain Venetian premiere of 1857, it was revived at La Scala in the definitive version of 1881, thanks to the careful revision work carried out by the composer together with the young Arrigo Boito, under the auspices of the publisher Giulio Ricordi. However, it struggled to enter the repertoire permanently until Gianandrea Gavazzeni's revival in 1965 and above all the historic version directed by Claudio Abbado and directed by Giorgio Strehler for the inauguration of the 1971-1972 season, without forgetting the subsequent directions of Daniel Barenboim and Myung -Whun Chung.

The new staging, which follows that of Federico Tiezzi in 2010, is entrusted for the musical part to the thirty-three year old Lorenzo Viotti, director of the Amsterdam Opera, after the brilliant performances offered in the French repertoire (Roméo et Juliette and Thaïs).

Simon Boccanegra – tells Viotti – “it was the first opera I witnessed live, at the age of five, directed by my father Marcello. I am convinced – explains the maestro – that it is Verdi's musical testament. Of course, two other masterpieces and the Sacred Pieces will come later, but the distance between these and Boccanegra is enormous and indicative. This is expressed by the refinement of the musical values of the score, the speed imparted to the dramatic action through the conciseness of the few closed pieces, the new singing style. And the same overall tone: the first version was sad, the second is even more so. Almost every person has 'their' version. Or, rather, the work is told to everyone in a different way."

Similar considerations inspire the director Daniele Abbado: “I'm not sure that there is any real reconciliation at the end of the play. There is between Simone and Gabriele Adorno, between Amelia and Fiesco, but between Simone and his people a big question mark remains. The ending remains, for me, a bitter ending. Also for this reason I will follow Verdi's caption that you quoted, so that when Simone dies there is total darkness in the room."


(Photocredit, Brescia & Amisano, Teatro alla Scala)


Wednesday's performance February 14 will be broadcast in direct on the LaScalaTv platform, where it will remain visible until February 21st.

One hour before the start of each performance there will be a introductory lecture to the work held by Claudio Toscani at the Ridotto dei Palchi “A. Toscanini".
Simon Boccanegra by Verdi returns to La Scala, Lorenzo Viotti directs, protagonists Luca Salsi, Eleonora Buratto, Charles Castronovo

Other information of interest

The work

Based on The Troubadour from a play by the Spaniard Antonio García Gutiérrez, Simon Boccanegra it is a work as unusual for the darkness of the orchestral color as it is radically innovative in its dramaturgical structure: the events represented in the Prologue precede the action of Act I by 25 years. Not entirely transparent in the narrative plan sketched out by Verdi himself and versified by Francesco Maria Piave, the opera failed at its first performance at the Fenice in Venice in 1857, was applauded shortly afterwards in Naples and booed again at La Scala in 1859. “I thought I had done something possible, but it seems that I was deceived, we will see in follow whoever is wrong” wrote Verdi to Countess Maffei after the failure at the premiere.

The curtain rose again on Boccanegra over twenty years later, thanks to the intuition of Giulio Ricordi who proposed to Verdi a collaboration with Arrigo Boito. He made important changes to the libretto, Verdi to the score: on 24 March 1881 the Teatro alla Scala celebrated the good success of the second edition of the opera, which however, especially in Italy, did not manage to have an easy path.

Simon Boccanegra at La Scala from the 1950s to the present day

At La Scala the opera reappeared in 1955, directed by Francesco Molinari-Pradelli in a show by Mario Frigerio with scenes by Nicola Benois and the voices of Aldo Protti and Cesare Siepi. Ten years later Gianandrea Gavazzeni, a staunch supporter of Simone, brought him back on stage in a production signed by Margherita Wallmann and again Benois, with Guelfi and Ghiaurov as Simone and Fiesco; but the consecration in the eyes of scholars and in the hearts of the public took place on 7 December 1971 with the historic Abbado-Strehler edition featuring Cappuccilli, Ghiaurov, Freni and Gianni Raimondi (José Carreras will be on the record). The show, immediately recognized as a masterpiece, was revived in 1973, 76, 78, 79, 81 and 82. It was then necessary to wait until 2010 for Daniel Barenboim to bring the title back to La Scala in the show signed by Federico Tiezzi and a cast formed by Plácido Domingo , Ferruccio Furlanetto, Anja Harteros and Fabio Sartori. Barenboim will alternate with Stefano Ranzani in the 2014 revival, in which Domingo and Leo Nucci impersonated the Doge as would have happened in the representations directed by Myung-Whun Chung in 2016 whose cast also included Carmen Giannattasio alternating with Krassimira Stoyanova and Giorgio Berrugi. Nucci and Stoyanova would then return together with Fabio Sartori in the new dates directed by Maestro Chung in 2018.


Director Lorenzo Viotti
Direction Daniele Abbado

Scenes Daniele Abbado, Angelo Linzalata
Costumes Nana Cecchi
Choreographic movements Simona Bucci
Lights Alessandro Carletti

Characters and performers
Simon Boccanegra Luca Salsi
Jacopo Fiesco Ain Anger
Paolo Albiani Roberto de Candia
Peter Andrea Pellegrini
Amelia (Maria) Eleonora Buratto /
Anita Hartig (21, 24 February)
Gabriele Adorno Charles Castronovo /
Matteo Lippi (21, 24 February)
Captain of the crossbowmen Haiyang Guo
Amelia's handmaid Laura Lolita Perešivana

Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro alla Scala

New Teatro alla Scala production   


Giuseppe Verdi
Simon Boccanegra

Melodrama in a prologue and three acts
Booklet of Francesco Maria Piave is Arrigo Boito
from the play by Antonio García Gutiérrez    


1 February 2024 at 8pm 'before'
performances on the 4th (2.30 pm), 11, 14, 17, 21, 24 February 2024 at 8 pm

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Teatro alla ScalaThe New Regio Ducal… more

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