Opera review: Simon Boccanegra
Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD
Royal Opera House – map
Performance date: 22 May 2008
Review by: Alexa Williamson
For those who like historic operas, with a twist of centuries-old politics in them, then Simon Boccanegra, currently in performance at the Royal Opera House is worth a venture.
As seasoned opera-goers will know, Guisseppe Verdi is the author of many stunning pieces including Rigoletto, Aida, and La Traviata, among the 35 he penned in his lifetime. Possibly one of his less performed pieces, Simon Boccanegra, nonetheless delivers the awe-struck feeling that one gets from seeing one of this master’s more popular passionate pieces.
Set in Genoa, Boccanegra is a plebeian who rises to power and along the way finds his long lost daughter, as well as several enemies. Possibly not as entrancing or easy to follow as some of the lighter – or even tragic – love story-operas, Simon Boccanegra is an intense and intricate piece as one sees how, as the saying goes, ‘power corrupts’.
With massive sets that entice as much as beautiful performances (particularly Lucio Gallo as Boccanegra and Anja Harteros as Amelia), voices and libretto, the ROH performance of this piece is one to catch if you’re in the mood for an opera that isn’t a love story, comedy – or both.
Royal Opera House (Official site)