Simon Boccanegra is based on the eponymous work by the Spanish Romantic playwright, Antonio García Gutiérrez. What, in Verdi, remains of his drama?
You once qualified this opera as a strange work... In what way is it strange?
How do you envisage the interactions between the private and public spheres that punctuate the work from beginning to end?
policy has its origins in his love for his daughter, but also in her loss which
prompts him to seek a lost harmony. A quest that will unfortunately prove
sterile... The character’s sadness echoes today's world in which
disillusionment with humanity is every day palpable. As well as transforming
Gutiérrez’s text, Arrigo Boito’s inclusion in the libretto of Petrarch’s letter
calling for reconciliation confers on Simon a humanist dimension. His
exhortation for peace has not been common in the mouths of politicians, either
in Verdi’s day or in our own.
Simon Boccanegra is a work in which the sea is omnipresent. Have you tried to give the maritime image a more up-to-date, political resonance?
For Simon, the sea is
synonymous with freedom. The immigrant crisis reminds us daily that the sea is
also murderous. However, that wasn’t a theme I wished to take up. It didn’t
seem really opportune. Above all, I tried to explore what there is within
Simon, the memories he keeps locked inside him, the dreams, the nightmares.
Therefore I had to imagine a mental space, a refuge, that would allow him to
escape from his grief to the obscure zones of his soul and to find once more
the feeling of liberty that was once afforded him by the sea.