About the Opera

For the first time at the Metropolitan Opera, legendary tenor Plácido Domingo sings a baritone role, the title character in Giuseppe Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, airing on THIRTEEN’S Great Performances at The Met in primetime on Thursday, June 17 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN and on Sunday, June 20 at 12 noon. on PBS (check local listings). Under the baton of Met Music Director James Levine, the cast also includes soprano Adrianne Pieczonka as Amelia, tenor Marcello Giordani as Gabriele Adorno, and bass-baritone James Morris as Jacopo Fiesco. This production of Simon Boccanegra by Giancarlo Del Monaco was first introduced in 1995 when Mr. Domingo sang the tenor role of Gabriele Adorno. The performance is sung in Italian with English surtitles. Great Performances at The Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG – one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.

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Set in the 14th century in and around Genoa, Simon Boccanegra is the tale of a man who, once a ruthless pirate, fathers a child out of wedlock and later is acclaimed the first Doge of Genoa. As the Doge, he tries to be a good leader and though his personal life is in shambles; he eventually does right by his daughter. The title character is considered one of the summits of the baritone repertory.

“It has been my dream for years,” Plácido Domingo said of singing Simon Boccanegra. The Associated Press hailed his performance as “a triumph.” A critic from The New York Times reported that Domingo “was mighty and majestic in the title role… his thrilling turn as a trouble-plagued doge ranks as one of the most resonant and affecting performances I’ve seen him give.”

Great Performances at The Met Simon Boccanegra is directed for television by Barbara Willis Sweete and hosted by acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming. Jay David Saks is the audio producer. Michael Scott designed the sets and costumes. Wayne Chouinard is lighting director. Peter McClintock is stage director. Simon Boccanegra is the eighth of 10 productions airing during the 2009-2010 season of Great Performances at The Met.

Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers and PBS. Corporate support for Great Performances at The Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home-builder®.

For the Met, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.