Nabucco

by Giuseppe Verdi

Nabucco on stage

Verdi's third opera, Nabucco, is the work that first brought him international recognition. It tells the story of the captivity of the ancient Hebrews by the Babylonian king Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar). The biblical events serve as a backdrop for romantic and political intrigue. Today, Nabucco is remembered primarily for "Va pensiero, " the famous Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves... the heartfelt anthem of the Italian Risorgimento. Rich in other musical moments with soaring arias and thundering choruses - Verdi's Nabucco is a tour de force for dramatic soprano and a benchmark opera for the "Verdi baritone".

SUMMARY

Jerusalem is surrounded by the Assyrian army, led by the fierce Nabucco (Nebuchadnezar). The Israelites have captured Fenena, his daughter, hoping to ransom her for their safety. Nabucco threatens the Israelites, but Zaccaria threatens to kill Fenena. Ismaele, in love with Fenena, disarms Zaccaria and releases her into Nabucco's protection. Nabucco then calls for his army to destroy the temple.

Abigaille has discovered that she is not Nabucco's daughter, but the daughter of slaves. She swears vengeance against Nabucco and Fenena and determines to put herself on the throne. As she is about to be crowned, she claims that Nabucco has died in battle. However, Nabucco suddenly appears, and reclaims the crown. He calls for the death of all the Hebrews, but Fenena declares that she, herself is a Hebrew, willing to die with them. Enraged, Nabucco declares that he is not only King, but God. He is struck down by a bolt of lightning for his blasphemy. Nabucco becomes mad, and delirious. Abigaille seizes the crown and declares herself the new ruler.  

Nabucco has been imprisoned. In his despair, he prays to the God of the Israelites for forgiveness. He regains his sanity and is released from his prison. He declares that he will free Fenena and take back his crown from Abigaille. 

Nabucco destroys the statue of Bale, and frees Fenena. Abigaille appears, weak and dying. She has poisoned herself. She begs forgiveness from Fenena and dies.

CAST

Nabucco - Riley McMitchell, Richard Williams  Abigaille - Sylwia Karwowska   Zaccaria -  Richard Williams   Fenena  - Christina Lewall, LisaMarie Bresett, Iuliia Nikolaeva   Ismael - Derek Bacchioni, Brent MacKenzie    Gran Sacerdote - Richard Williams, Roberto Solla   Levite  - Roberto Solla, Richard Williams   Abdallo  - Derek Bacchioni, Lemuel Aldana Sanchez, Mike Novak   Anna - Annette Ducharme, Iuliia Nikolaeva  Virgins