Nabucco is the opera which made Verdi the voice of the Italian people. Its theme of an oppressed people's yearning for freedom touched a responsive chord in the Italy of 1842. The stirring passion of Verdi's score proved irresistible in a country increasingly resentful of Austrian rule. "Va pensiero" the great chorus of longing, sung by the exiled Hebrews on the banks of the Euphrates, has become one of the best-loved of operatic melodies, and for Italian patriots in the middle of the 19th century, the chorus quickly became an anthem. The background to the opera is historical: set during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (Nabucco), King of Babylon.The fictitious characters are Nabucco's daughters, Abigaille and Fenena, who are rivals for the love of Ismaele, nephew of the King of Jerusalem.There is also a powerful bass role for Zaccaria,a Hebrew priest, who brings about the conversion of Nabucco. This performance was recorded at Verona, where the huge open-air Roman Arena provides a magnificent setting for this well-loved and spectacular epic.
Verdi's grand opera Aida was composed for the new Cairo Opera House, built in 1871 as part of the celebrations to mark the opening of the Suez Canal. In Aida, Verdi created a masterpiece of spectacular opera in the Italian style whose pomp and ceremony, fanfares and triumphs scarcely conceal the infinite sadness which emanates from the music. Aida is one of Verdi's most perfect scores in its atmosphere, characterisation and seemingly inexhaustible supply of melody.The Arena di Verona, built in the first century B.C., provides a natural and apt setting for Aida.The cast is led by the soprano Maria Chiara in the title role, with Fiorenza Cossotto, one of the great interpreters of Amneris, Nicola Martinucci as Radames and Giuseppe Scandola as Amonasro. Opera in four acts
Instantly famous for the best-loved chorus in all opera — the "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves" (Va, pensiero), Nabuccoms Verdi's first operatic triumph. In this massive and spectacular new production from the vast Roman arena in Verona, the story of love, betrayal and the lust for power in ancient Babylon is brought to life by a supreme cast of Verdians led by the great baritone Leo Nucci. Opera In Four Acts Nabucco - Leo Nucci Ismaele - Fabio Sartori Zaccaria - Carlo Colombara Abigaille - Maria Guleghina Fenena - Nino Surguladze High Priest Of Baal - Carlo Striuli Abdallo - Carlo Bosi Anna - Patrizia Cigna
Roberto de Simone's production of Verdi's epic opera Nabucco opened the 1986-87 season at La Scala and marked Riccardo Muti's return as Music Director of Italy's greatest opera house. It was Nabucco that firmly established Verdi as the voice of the Italian people, and in particular Va, pensiero, the great chorus of longing, sung by the exiled Hebrews on the banks of the Euphrates. Libretto - Temistocle Solera Sets - Mauro Carosi Costumes - Odette Nicoletti Stage Lighting - Vannio Vanni Chorus And Orchestra Of La Scala, Milan Conductor Riccardo Muti Nabucco, King Of Babylon - Renato Bruson Abiqaille, Daughter Of Nabucco - Ghena Dimitrova Zaccaria, High Priest Of Jerusalem - Paata Burchuladze Ismaele, Nephew Of The King Of Jerusalem - Bruno Beccaria Fenena, Daughter Of Nabucco - Raquel Pierotti