Lucrezia Borgia - Synopsis
Felice Romani after Victor Hugo
Young men are discussing the horror stories being told about the curse on the Borgia family, warning each other to be careful in any dealings with them, especially with Lucrezia,
of whom it is said that she poisons people. The young men have their reasons: they denounce Lucrezia as the murderer of their relations.
Gennaro is the lone wolf in the group. He has no idea who his mother and father were. When a woman appears to him, as if in a dream, he immediately feels drawn to her. The woman takes him tenderly in her arms, like a mother cradling a child. But Gennaro’s friends wake him: the woman to whom he feels so close is Lucrezia Borgia.
In Ferrara. At night. At the court of the Duca D’Este and his wife, Lucrezia Borgia.
Gennaro and his friends have been invited to Ferrara by the Venetian ambassador. Spies, thieves and murderers surround them. The Duca D’Este suspects that Gennaro is his wife’s lover. Even Gennaro’s friends tease him, hinting that he is having an affair with Lucrezia. This provokes Gennaro to destroy Lucrezia’s coat of arms on the duke’s palace. Lucrezia demands of her husband that he should have the person guilty of this crime killed. The Duca has Gennaro arrested and brought before Lucrezia. Lucrezia, having insisted that the culprit should be killed, is forced by her husband to poison Gennaro. At the last minute she is able to save him by giving him an antidote. Gennaro cannot understand why he is drawn to Lucrezia again and again.
Hours later in Ferrara. It is again night.
Gennaro wants to leave Ferrara but his friend Maffio Orsini reminds him how they have sworn to stay together always, through life and in death.In the end, Lucrezia has all Gennaro’s friends poisoned, all those who destroyed the dream of her life that day in Venice, the dream of being unrecognized andloved by someone just for herself. She now takes her revenge and becomes the poisoner the whole world has always taken her for. But again her revenge falls on the one she loves: Gennaro. This time he refuses to accept the antidote. As he dies he finally learns what has always drawn him to Lucrezia.
She is his mother.