Dirty business

What effect does power have on politicians? Director Vasily Barkhatov explores the dynamics of success and failure

»SIMON BOCCANEGRA is a political opera about intrigues in the city-republic of Genoa. For me, though, it’s about the way power changes people.

We’re showing a world that’s not representative of any particular age or location. Onstage you see a politician’s residence with the official quarters and private rooms separate from one another. But the Doge does not feel at home in either part of the premises.

A head of state forfeits his private life – and in Verdi’s works his ideals, too. I find that interesting. I want to know what leads someone to become a persona non grata who is forced to give up everything he has. The opera shows three generations of politicians moving into the palace and all failing in their work. Simon Boccanegra is fixated on finding his daughter, who vanished 20 years previously. He yearns for his family, but his position of power does not permit this.

We’ll be using video backdrops to portray the dreams of the politicians. Politics is a dirty business that sullies the soul as well. Regardless of the political leanings of a particular doge, the plebs will end up driving  him from the palace within a few short years. This tragedy is what I’m interested in.«


Vasily Barkhatov is a director of theatre and opera. His professional career has brought him from the Bolshoi and Mariinsky theatres to the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he is currently presenting Giuseppe Verdi’s SIMON BOCCANEGRA


News about the schedule
and the start of advance booking
Personal recommendations
Special offers ...
Stay well informed!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our Newsletter and receive 25% off your next ticket purchase.

* Mandatory field