1844 Giuseppe Verdi first wrote an Opera for the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, he offered the drama the two Foscari by Lord Byron as a template for this, which shows not the Carnivalesque Venice of full romantic fling, but the strict political laws and structures of the Serenissima in the Center. However, the famous Council of ten as easy to deceive and noblemen presented as vengeful and conniving, therefore rejected are the proposal censorship is off. Verdi composed the Opera Ernani; instead for Venice I due Foscari he could on November 4. 1844 present in Rome at the Teatro Argentino.
The Venetian Doge Francesco Foscari must send his son Jacopo due to a supposedly of this carried out murder in exile - but there is a cabal of his opponent's Kamel. Foscari is internally torn between the love for his son and his duty as Doge. Lucrezia, the wife of Jacopos, a firm believer in the innocence of her husband. She wants to accompany him into exile, is not allowing it. Jacopo is already on the galley, which will bring him to Crete, as a letter proving the innocence of Jacopo reaches Francesco. But it is too late: Jacopo died on the galley. Francesco must abdicate as Doge, this humiliation and the loss of his son break his heart, he dies.
Byron's drama is a stage play, not suitable material for an opera. Verdi had therefore his librettist Francesco Maria Piave, to incorporate additional rousing moments: "push your Spirit and invent something that makes a little sensation." Despite the large chorus scenes and passionate emotional outbursts, the work has retained its intimate character. Succeeded Verdi straight therefore with I due Foscari is a renewal of his style, his character portrayal refined and condensed. Verdi used here with the characters related topics, the work with transparent Orchestration give an elaborate structure – it offers, from the history of music mostly unnoticed, a counter-proposal to Richard Wagner's at the same time developed leitmotif technique.