Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Scott Burnham

Committee Members

Norman Carey

John Musto

Karen Henson

Subject Categories

Music Pedagogy | Music Practice


role study, analysis, opera, performance practice, coach, conductor


The purpose of this dissertation is twofold: while it aims to provide a valuable tool for performers and all artists involved in a production of Simon Boccanegra, it also simultaneously explores and outlines several instances in which Verdi’s all-encompassing idea of drama shapes and directs this opera.

Throughout this process, the disposizione scenica to Simon Boccanegra constitutes the central document that connects the practical and the aesthetic perspective of this dissertation. Each chapter is dedicated to a different character of Simon Boccanegra, allowing the reader to follow each character on a journey through the opera as it is presented in the disposizione scenica. For each character I have outlined a few nodal points in the plot that are relevant to their psychological evolution or to the dramatic unfolding of the opera in general. The analyses of these moments of the opera offered the opportunity to point out practical examples of Verdi’s dramatic conception and of the way in which the single components of the opera (music, vocality, and staging) are molded and directed towards a single desired dramatic effect.