After his first two operas "Oberto" and "Un giorno di regno," Verdi fell
into a depression that dissipated only when he was shown the libretto to
"Nabucco" and discovered the chorus "Va, pensiero." The words sung by the
Hebrew exiles made an indelible impression on the composer, who also saw
the political potential within them: an echo of the Italians' longing for
freedom and a unified nation. The work was premiered at the Teatro alla
Scala on 9 March 1842 and was an enormous success. The story of the
Babylonian King and the captive Israelites stirred a patriotic cord in the
hearts of the Milan audiences and swiftly carried Verdi's name throughout
Italy and the rest of the world.
"Nabucco" has long been at home in the Arena di Verona, and for many, the
"Va pensiero" chorus is, along with the triumphal march from "Aida," the
very embodiment of the Verona experience. This video production vividly
captures this unique experience and provides the viewer with fascinating
details that escape many of the Arena's spectators. Stage director Denis
Krief casts the work in a sparse modern setting, providing a highly
effective showcase for the true heroes of the evening, the singers under
conductor Daniel Oren.
"Nuanced and temperamental, Daniel Oren's interpretation dazzles with
wonderfully suspense-filled pianissimi. The chorus of the Hebrew captives
is so perfect that it is probably impossible to find it sung anywhere else
more beautifully than in Verona. [...] As so often in the Arena, the chorus
presents itself as protagonist and perfectly homogeneous ensemble in this
acoustically delicate theater. But with Leo Nucci as an aging Nabucco
reminiscent of Lear, Fabio Sartori as his antagonist Ismaele and Maria
Guleghina as a power-hungry Abigaille, the stage was dominated by three
brilliantly disposed soloists who rousingly did justice to the drama of
their characters, who are struggling for power and love." (Süddeutsche
Zeitung, 26 June 2007)

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Nabucco
Conductor: Daniel Oren
Staged By: Denis Krief
Soloist: Leo Nucci, Fabio Sartori, Carlo Colombara, Maria Guleghina, Nino Surguladze
Set: Giuseppe De Filippi Venezia
Orchestra: Orchestra dell'Arena di Verona
Chorus: Coro dell'Arena di Verona
Video Director: Tiziano Mancini
Genre: Opera
Length: 131 minutes
Cat.No.: A00008685
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