Simon Boccanegra

Fulham Opera bring scandal and political intrigue to St John’s

One hundred and fifty years after its first performance, Verdi’s operatic saga of political intrigue and scandal, Simon Boccanegra, will be performed by Fulham Opera.

It is being sung in Italian, with English surtitles, in the acoustic beauty of St John’s Church, North End Road, Fulham, on 8, 11, 13, 15, 18 and 20 March at 7.30pm.

Oliver Gibbs sings the title role of Boccanegra, Doge of Genoa, with Emily Blanch as his daughter Amelia and Simon Hannigan as Jacopo Fiesco, a nobleman. James Harrison is Paolo Albiani (the Doge’s favourite courtier), while Simon Grange sings the role of Pietro, a Genoese popular leader.

The chorus and reduced orchestra of Fulham Opera is directed by Fiona Williams, who has created a new, dark arrangement of this classic tale of the effects of power, set in the 14th Century.

Ben Woodward, Fulham Opera’s musical director, conducts. He and Fiona Williams linked up to produce La Cenerentola in St John’s church eight years ago.

But it will be all change for the performance on March 18, when the production will be conducted by the Australian Michael Thrift, a former associate conductor of the Sydney Youth Orchestra.

As a former Australian Young Composer of the Year, it is fitting that he will be introducing Fulham Opera’s young artists’ programme for this, their showcase performance.

For that show, Hannah Macaulay takes on the role of Amelia, Simon Grange shifts to singing the part of Fiesco, while Chris Childs Santos will sing Paolo.

Tickets for all performances (£25, £20 concs) are available from

The shows are fully wheelchair accessible.