A popular opera on more than one account, Verdi’s Nabucco was his first triumph at the dawn of his brilliant career (born 1813, he was aged just thirty at the work’s creation in 1842 at the Scala). Composed on a libretto written by Solera for the composer Nicolai, who refused it, Verdi’s third lyrical work is verily surrounded by a legend, to which the composer himself gave rise. According to Verdi, as a young composer who had practically given up writing for the opera (following the resounding failure of his second opera Un giorno di regno) he was offered this libretto by Merelli, the impresario of the Scala, on the suggestion of Giuseppina Strepponi, a singer who was not indifferent to Verdi’s gruff charm. The latter, fascinated by the beauty of ‘Va pensiero’, and even more by the emotion it aroused in him, thus set to work and composed the opera that was to enthrall the Milanese, then the entire Italian people: the work saw no fewer than sixty-five performances in the first year! The work soon went round the musical world, proving a lasting success, which is obviously due to both the subject and to the power it is given by Verdi’s music and its high dramatic effectiveness, echoing the idea of Italian unity which was developing (those were the times of the Risorgimento), the drama of the Hebrews oppressed by the Chaldeans being seen as an image of the Italians’ own oppression under Austrian domination.
More information is available on the festival's official website.
July 09, 2014 21:45:00
July 12, 2014 21:45:00
Work's characters list
Il Gran Sacerdote