Ancient Babylon comes to life in a classic Met staging of biblical proportions. Baritone George Gagnidze makes his Met role debut as the imperious king Nabucco, alongside soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska reprising her thrilling turn as his vengeful daughter Abigaille. Mezzo-soprano Maria Barakova and tenor SeokJong Baek, in his company debut, are Fenena and Ismaele, whose love transcends politics, and bass Dmitry Belosselskiy repeats his celebrated portrayal of the high priest Zaccaria. Daniele Callegari conducts Verdi’s exhilarating early masterpiece, which features the ultimate showcase for the great Met Chorus, the moving “Va, pensiero.”
World premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1842. The success of Verdi’s third opera, a stirring drama about the fall of ancient Jerusalem at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar (Nabucco), catapulted the 28-year-old composer to international fame. The music and Verdi himself were subsumed into a surge of patriotic fervor culminating in the foundation of the modern nation of Italy. Specifically, the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves (“Va, pensiero”), in which the Israelites express their longing for their homeland, came to stand for the country’s aspirations for unity and that exciting era in Italian history, the Risorgimento, or “Resurgence.”
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September 28th, 2023
January 26th, 2024
Metropolitan Opera House
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