A new production of Verdi’s Nabucco at the Arena di Verona, and probably the most exciting lyrical event of the summer 2017.
Verdi’s third opera – but first great popular success – was created at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 1842, in the epicentre of the “Risorgimento” and the capital of Italian nationalism, at a time where the supporters of Italian independance from Austrian occupation were starting to make their voices heard.
The « Chorus of the Hebrew slaves », pivotal point in the third act where the Jews, exiled from Babylone by Nabuchodonosor, mourn their country, « so beautiful and lost », immediately resonated with the Italian nationalists and has ever since been a symbol of Italian national identity.
Boldly transposing the action out of biblical times and into Italian Risorgimento, French director Arnaud Bernard goes as far as to center the entire opera during the popular uprisings of 1848 and in the insides of the Milanese opera house. A clever way to emphasize on the legends that have been building around Verdi’s operas and the role they played in the political process of uniting the Italian peninsula, and in the construction of an authentic italianità.
Soprano Susanna Branchini literally steals the stage as Nabuchodonosor’s daughter Abigaille (for whom Verdi probably wrote his most challenging score), while Israeli-born conductor Daniel Oren, a true connoisseur of Verdi’s musical language as well as a regular guest at the Arena di Verona, conducts with great panache this « lyrical epic » that holds such a special place in the heart of all Italians.
Nabucco : George Gagnidze Ismaele : Rubens Pelizzari Zaccaria : Rafał Siwek Abigaille : Susanna Branchini Fenena : Nino Surguladze High Priest of Belo : Nicolò Ceriani Abdallo : Paolo Antognetti Anna : Elena Borin
Company: Arena di Verona
Subtitles: French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean