_Note: Although the opera, and the title role, are referred to as ‘Simon Boccanegra’ most scores and librettos follow the Italian spelling of ‘Simone’ or refer to the character as ‘Doge’. For consistency ‘Simone’ is used throughout this guide to refer to the title role. _
Prologue - 1339
A Square in Genoa
In the square in front of San Lorenzo, Paolo has a proposition for Pietro (‘Che dicesti?’). He offers him gold, power, and honor, if he fixes the vote for Doge in favor of a particular candidate, famed for facing down African pirates. He is arranging for Simone Boccanegra to be voted in as Doge the very next day. He tells him that it is the only way he can be with his beloved Maria, who is being held as prisoner by the Fieschi family. The only condition being that Paolo can share in Simone’s power.
They watch while Pietro leads in a crowd of citizens. He is lobbying them to vote for Simone, calling him brave and loyal to the people. He tells the crowd how the other candidate has
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