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Plácido Domingo as Francesco Foscari and Guanqun Yu as Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari © Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía - Tato Baeza 2013

Plácido Domingo as Francesco Foscari in I due Foscari © Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía - Tato Baeza 2013

Ivan Magrì as Jacopo Foscari and Guanqun Yu as Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari © Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía - Tato Baeza 2013

Ivan Magrì as Jacopo Foscari in I due Foscari © Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía - Tato Baeza 2013

Guanqun Yu as Lucrezia Contarini and Plácido Domingo as Francesco Foscari in I due Foscari © Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía - Tato Baeza 2013

Guanqun Yu as Lucrezia Contarini, Gianluca Buratto as Jacopo Loredano and Plácido Domingo as Francesco Foscari in I due Foscari © Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía - Tato Baeza 2013

Gianluca Buratto as Jacopo Loredano, Plácido Domingo as Francesco Foscari and Guanqun Yu as Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari © Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía - Tato Baeza 2013

Guanqun Yu as Lucrezia Contarini, Plácido Domingo as Francesco Foscari and Ivan Magrì as Jacopo Foscari in I due Foscari © Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía - Tato Baeza 2013

Plácido Domingo as Francesco Foscari, Ivan Magrì as Jacopo Foscari and Guanqun Yu as Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari © Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía - Tato Baeza 2013

Plácido Domingo as Francesco Foscari, Ivan Magrì as Jacopo Foscari and Guanqun Yu as Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari © Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía - Tato Baeza 2013

I due Foscari

14 October—2 November 2014
Main Stage

A despairing father is torn between love for his family and duty to a corrupt city in Verdi's searing early tragedy.

When to see it

The Story

Jacopo Foscari, son of the Doge of Venice, is convicted of murder and treason. His wife Lucrezia is sure of his innocence. But the Doge, trapped by the machinations of a corrupt city, is forced to make a terrible decision.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)

Background

I due Foscari, Verdi's sixth opera, is one of his darkest and saddest. At its heart is a father's realization that there is nothing he can do to protect his family against the world's cruelties. The 31-year-old composer may well have drawn on his own devastating experience of losing his wife and two infant children a few years earlier. But despite the opera's sombre soul, the music for I due Foscari contains exhilarating forerunners of Verdi's later style – particularly in the fiercely virtuosic writing for the heroine Lucrezia and her magnificent duets with the Doge in Act I and with her doomed husband in Act II.

American director Thaddeus Strassberger, making his Royal Opera debut, depicts a Venice that is rotten to its core. Mattie Ullrich's opulent costume designs reference the opera’s 15th-century setting while suggesting the corruption lurking beneath. The spare sets of award-winning British designer Kevin Knight illustrate the Foscaris' isolation and the decay of the city, before flaring out into grand guignol for the opera's brilliant Act III carnival.

News and features

  1. Autumn Season 2014/15

    31 March 2014

    The Royal Ballet opens the Autumn Season with Kenneth MacMillan’s masterful Manon. Highlights for The Royal Opera include Plácido Domingo in Verdi’s dark political tragedy I due Foscari and - in a new collaboration with the Roundhouse - Monteverdi’s Orfeo.