Opera Rara present

VERDI: SIMON BOCCANEGRA (1857 VERSION)

The Hallé | Sir Mark Elder, conductor

Nicola Alaimo (Simon Boccanegra); Eleonora Buratto (Amelia); Iván-Ayón Rivas (Gabriele Adorno); William Thomas (Jacopo Fiesco);

Sergio Vitale (Paolo Albiani); David Shipley (Pietro); Beth Moxon (Amelia’s Maid); Chorus of Opera North

Thursday 18 April 2024, 7pm, Bridgewater Hall

On Thursday 18 April, Opera Rara team up with its former Artistic Director Sir Mark Elder and The Hallé to present the original 1857 version of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. Edited by Opera Rara’s Repertoire Consultant Roger Parker for Casa Ricordi, this new edition of the 1857 version of Verdi’s opera is the first to be based on the composer’s original autograph score, which only recently became available to scholars. This concert performance is part of Elder’s final season as The Hallé’s Music Director and the finale of his opera series with the Orchestra. 

Simon Boccanegra was famously not a success when it first premiered at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice in 1857. Featuring simpler and more declamatory vocal lines, this first version of Simon Boccanegra was written in a style at odds with what audiences had grown accustomed to hearing from Verdi, such as in his popular works Il trovatore or La traviata. More than 20 years later, Verdi was persuaded by his publisher to thoroughly revise the work, and the second version of 1881 is the Simon Boccanegra that ended up taking its place amongst the Verdi ‘canon’ we know today. Opera Rara’s revival of the 1857 version of Simon Boccanegra has been spearheaded by Roger Parker and Sir Mark Elder, for whom the wish to shine a new light on this music marking a critical period in Verdi’s development, goes back to his time as Opera Rara’s Artistic Director (2011-2019).

DONIZETTI SONG PROJECT with

ERMONELA JAHO at WIGMORE HALL

Ermonela Jaho, soprano | Carlo Rizzi, piano | Marco Rizzi, violin

Thursday 23 May 2024, 1pm, Wigmore Hall

On Thursday 23 MayOpera Rara present its second ‘Donizetti & Friends’ recital at Wigmore Hall with Artist Ambassador Ermonela Jaho. Recently named Artist of the Year at the 2023 International Classical Music Awards, and Best Female Singer of the Year at the 2024 OPER! Awards, Ermonela Jaho will perform rare songs by Donizetti, including six modern-day premieres, alongside those of his contemporaries Bellini, Verdi, Gounod and Viardot. She is accompanied by Opera Rara’s Artistic Director Carlo Rizzi, who will be joined in two items by his brother, violinist Marco Rizzi.

Appointed Artist Ambassador in 2022 together with Michael Spyres, Ermonela Jaho first worked with Opera Rara in 2014 for the studio recording and performance of Leoncavallo’s Zazà (ORC55). She went on to record Puccini’s Le Willis (ORC59) and her debut recital album Anima Rara (ORR253) which won the Best Vocal Recording at the 2021 International Classical Music Awards. A week prior to her second Wigmore Hall recital, Jaho and Carlo Rizzi will record French and Italian Donizetti songs in the studio for a double album release in 2025.