Theatre / Simon Boccanegra

Simon Boccanegra (Simon Blackmouth, or more figuratively Simon The Liar) is a historic drama about the first Doge of the Venetian Republic, the titular Simon.

The opera Simon Boccanegra is based on a play by Antonio García Gutiérrez, and set to music by Giuseppe Verdi.

One of Verdi's least famous operas, it breaks the Verdi mold in many ways, primarily by not having a particularly tragic ending.


This work contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Badass Baritone: Subverted. Simon is a baritone, and while he is in no way a coward, and a very skilled politician, he is not particularly badass at all. In fact, all of the characters in this opera are a bit adverse to physical conflict on stage.
  • Based on a True Story: Simon Boccanegra is a historic figure, and his reign was turbulent and fraught with attempts on his life.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Boccanegra is poisoned and dying, but has had a good run as Doge, his enemies (including the man who poisoned him) are dead or exiled, he has reunited with his estranged daughter, reconciled with his father-in-law and seen his daughter marry the man she loves.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Simon is a baritone and a flawed but ultimately quite sympathetic characters. Jacopo is a basso and also flawed but sympathetic. Pietro is a basso and is genuinely decent (in the versions where he appears at all). Paolo, on the other hand, is a baritone and a right wrong 'un.
  • Time Skip: The original version had a 25-year time skip between the prologue and the first act, which contains pretty much the entirety of Simon's reign.
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