Simon Boccanegra exists in two versions: the 1857 opera was heavily revised for performance in 1881, when the famous council scene was added. Both texts are presented here, the 1881 version in a new translation by the poet James Fenton, so that a ...
comparison can be easily made between them. The patriotic fervour of the Risorgimento flames through this second score: for the last time Verdi relived the ideals of his youth. Yet the earlier score contains much exhilarating and beautiful music, and the juxtaposition of old and new results in a wholly original dramatic experience.