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Nabucco ©2013 Bernd Uhlig

Verdi Nabucco

From 21 December TO 27 December 2019
Deutsche Oper - Berlin
Program

Verdi : Nabucco

2 h 45 with 1 interval Sung in : Italian
Cast
  • Conductor
    Carlo Montanaro
  • Director
    Keith Warner
  • Performers
    Nabucco: Enkhbat Amartuvshin
    Abigaille: Anna Pirozzi
    Zaccaria: Mika Kares
    Fenena: Jana Kurucová
    Ismaele: Attilio Glaser
Details on the Performance

“Va, pensiero, sull’ali dorate” – Take flight, thought, on golden wings”. When those words first rang out in the Milan Scala on 9th March 1842, sung by the Hebrew slaves chorus in the third act of NABUCCO, Giuseppe Verdi's new opera, the master was making history. The “Slaves Chorus” was quickly adopted as the unofficial national anthem of a not-yet-unified Italy and the hopes of a generation of opera-goers were suddenly vested in the young composer.

The dramatic tale of Israelite subjugation under the Babylonian yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar remains one of Verdi's best-known operas and was last staged at the Deutsche Oper Berlin by Hans Neuenfels 13 years ago. In Verdi's anniversary year 2013 the material was being rendered by Keith Warner, one of the big names in international opera. The Englishman has directed LOHENGRIN at the Bayreuth Festival and THE RING OF THE NIBELUNG at Covent Garden and more recently for the Copenhagen Opera. Set in the same period that the piece was written, a time of transition from feudalism to a bourgeois, industrialising society, Warner's NABUCCO focuses on the opposing natures of two nations – the modern Hebrews, whose culture is informed by a script and by education as a democratic ideal, and the militaristic Babylonians, whose concept of a state is founded in autocratic rule.

Source © Deutsche Oper Berlin

  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Deutsche Oper - Berlin Location Bismarckstrasse 35 - 10627 Berlin Allemagne

  • Venue's Capacity: 1859

The Venue's History in few words …

Contrary to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden which was founded in the eighteenth century in the centre of town and for a long time considered the Royal Opera, the history of the Berlin Opera began in 1912, in the Charlottenburg neighborhood situated outside the city limits, and intitiated by the rich bourgeoisie. But the inevitable occured, following the economic crisis of World War I, and the Charlottenburg Opera was ultimately purchased by the City of Berlin.

 

Bruno Walter greatly improved the musical qualities of this institution which was rebaptized the Städtische Oper (City Opera). Prior to that, Carl Ebert, as administrator (with Rudolf Bing, the future legendary director of the MET in New York, as assistant), promoted more modern music, including those operas by Kurt Weill or Schreker which Klemperer could no longer perform at the then-closed Kr oll-Oper, and which provoked the ire of the Nazis as early as 1933. In 1945, the building was left in ruins, but by the month of August 45, the company presented FIDELIO at the « Theater des Westerns » and animated that theatre until 1961. During this period, the conductor Ferenc Fricsay, named music director, enabled the Städtische Oper to regain its international ranking, alternating standard repertoire in top-quality productions (where voices such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau or Josef Greindl were discovered), works by Stravinsky and Hindemith (who were banned by the Nazis), and world premieres. But in 1955, the Opera Unter den Linden, situated in East Germany, reopened under the name of the Deutsche Staatsoper. Under the influence of this politico-artistic competition, three decisions were made : the Städtische Oper was rebaptized the Deutsche Oper Berlin, plans were made to construct a theatre at the Charlottenburg site (situated in West Berlin), and Carl Ebert who, in the mean­time founded the Glyndebourne Festival, was called back. His productions and season programmes turned West Berlin into one of contemporary opera's main capitals.

Deutsche Oper

Synopsis

Nabucco

This opera is dear to all Italians and contains the massively famous aria “Va, pensiero” that everyone in the peninsula knows almost by heart. At the centre of an intricate politic impeachment, Abigail is, by far, the flashiest among Verdi’s heroin.

This Verdi’s opera in 4 acts to a libretto written by Temistocle Solera is known to the general public for the sublime arias such as “Va, pensiero”, that has become a very powerful ode to freedom or “ Coro degli Schiavi Ebrei ”. When the opera premiered, the political message it brought was very relevant and easy to identify with, as the despair of the Jewish people and their resistance against tyrant Nabuccodonosor would mirror that of the Milanese people against the Austrian invaders. Beyond the message though, the opera is, above all, an interesting revise Alfieri’s “I Deliri di Saul”. The opera premiered at La Scala in Milan on 9 March 1842, gaining instant success.

HISTORY
The opera tells the story of a group of captive Israelites triumphing over their Babylonian captors. The Israelite leader, Ismaele, fights the forces of evil to keep the love of the Babylonian princess Fenena and return his people to Israel. He has to defeat the High Priest of the pagan god, Baal, and the wicked princess, Abigaille.

Act 1
The Babylonian army arrives in Jerusalem. Zaccaria, the high priest, entrusts Fenena to Ismaele, nephew of the King of Jerusalem. The couple are already in love, having met when Ismaele was previously captive in Babylon. Abigaille, King of Babylon's eldest daughter, is also in love with Ismaele. She threatens Fenena with high treason if the couple do not renounce one another. Ismaele refuses, betraying the Israelites. The King of Babylon destroys the temple.

Act 2
Abigaille discovers that she is the daughter of slaves. The High Priest of Baal spreads rumours that Fenena has released the Israeli captives and that he intends to place Abigaille on the throne. Zaccaria tells the Israelites that Fenena has converted to Judaism and pleads with them to forgive Ismaele. Because of Fenena's conversion, the King of Babylon threatens all of the Israelites with death. When he declares himself a god, there is a crack of thunder, his crown falls off and Abigaille seizes it.

Act 3
Abigaille is now queen of Babylon. She tricks the broken King of Babylon into signing the death warrant of the Israelites, which means the death of Fenena. He pleads for her life but Abigaille is unmoved and tears up the document that proves she is a slave. On the banks of the Euphrates, the Israelites sing their song of longing for the homeland: Fly, thoughts, on golden wings.

Act 4
The King of Babylon watches as Fenena is led to her death. He promises to convert to Judaism and to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem if Fenena's life is saved. His strength is restored and he hurries to save Fenena and the Israelites from death. The Babylonian idol falls to the ground and Abigaille poisons herself. Fenena forgives Abigaille as she dies.

THE MAIN ROLES

Nabucco, baritone, King of Babylon
Fenena, mezzo soprano, daughter to the King of Babylon
Abigaille, soprano, his supposed daughter
Ismaele, tenor, nephew of the King of Jerusalem
Zaccaria, bass, high priest of the Jews

Deutsche Oper

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