A Biblical epic about power, love, religion and freedom
Due to the government shutdown are the box offices of the National Theatre closed from 27th of December, 2020.
2 hours 35 minutes, 1 intermission 20 minutesLanguage
In Italian, subtitles in Czech, EnglishPremiere
June 27, 2018
The production was staged by the celebrated Argentinean tenor José Cura.
Verdi’s third opera, Nabucco, treating the Old Testament story of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, is one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide. The story, more than a thousand years old, depicts a religiously motivated war and a nation’s expulsion from its home – and it is set in the Middle East, the most turbulent region there is. Has anything changed over the past one and a half millennia?
The State Opera Chorus and Orchestra
The premiere of Nabucco, on 9 March 1842 at La Scala in Milan, was such a triumph that it opened up for Guiseppe Verdi, 28 years of age at the time, the path to global fame. The opera marked the onset of the composer’s new style. While still reflecting the respective influences of Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini, the purely virtuoso passages quintessential for the bel canto era gave way to arias and ensembles fully aimed at enhancing the tension and momentum, in order to boost the dramatic realism and plausibility. The change in the compositional style also required transformation of the style of singing, in terms of vocal and dramatic performance alike, with the singers having to be both vocally universal and talented as actors. Nabucco includes one of the most challenging soprano parts (Abigaille) and perhaps the best-known opera scene of all, “Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate” (Fly, thought, on golden wings), an iconic hymn to freedom. In Verdi’s time the chorus would become a symbol of the Italians’ resistance to Austria’s supremacy, and it would even serve as a political appeal in modern times.
Nabucco was first presented in the Czech lands, in German translation, on 5 March 1849 at the Estates Theatre in Prague. The current production was staged by the celebrated Argentinean tenor José Cura, with whom the State Opera company had previously collaborated, in the autumn of 2001 during a tour of Japan with the production of Verdi’s Aida (José Cura portrayed the role of Radamès) and in January 2015, when he appeared at the State Opera in a performance of Verdi’s Otello (in the lead role).
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