Here I am, finally alone.
Alone! Am I truly?
Where does the eye of the Ten not reach?
All my deeds and actions,
and even my thoughts, which are being observed…
As a counterpart to Falstaff (Verdi’s late-life indulgence) and Parade[s] (the large concert devoted this year to the composer’s work), Verdi’s early opera I due Foscari is being performed as a concert. This revenge tragedy recounts the deepseated hatred between two Venetian families who aspire to become doge, a murky quest for power punished by profound solitude, and a father’s love impeded by state policy. By the denouement, the ruthless Loredano has eliminated the two Foscari: Jacopo, the son, and Francesco, the father—i.e., the doge and his rival. All of the elements of Frenetic Romanticism are present, while patriotic songs swell up and the bell of San Marco sounds the alarm. Through its powerful dramatics and sombre mood, I due Foscari is a forerunner to Simon Boccanegra and Don Carlos. Under the baton of Daniele Rustioni conducting the Chorus and Orchestra of the Opéra de Lyon, this evening benefits from the talent of the best Verdian singers today.