Borgia Infami depicts the lives, loves, and crimes of the notorious Borgia clan, focusing upon Rodrigo, who becomes the brilliant and corrupt Pope Alexander VI; his son Cesare, whose ruthless pursuit of power is immortalized in Macchiavelli's writings; and especially Rodrigo's beauteous daughter Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara and alleged poisoner of the family's enemies. The action unfolds on dual levels, alternating historical fact with Victor Hugo's hypermelodramatic portrayal of Lucrezia. Right in the Vatican, she has borne an illegitimate son, product of suspected papal incest. Separated from her at birth, the boy matures into a virtuous young officer driven by an implacable hatred of the Borgias, and by a passion to find his lost mother. All the while Lucrezia has lovingly watched over him from a distance, writing him anonymously. But unwittingly she comes to poison him, along with his Borgia-hostile friends. Out of shock and desperation she mortally stabs herself. Revealing her true identity to her son, they perish together. Her crimes are wiped clean through selfless maternal devotion. And ingeniously, the librettist has connected this to the present.
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Contemporary singers' opera; dramatic; cinematic
Sean Fallen (Narciso)