Last updated
Opera by Giuseppe Verdi
Verdi-Nabucco-1842-original costume sketch.jpg
Costume sketch for Nabucco for the original production
Librettist Temistocle Solera
Based on Play by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornu, as well as Antonio Cortese's ballet adaptation
9 March 1842 (1842-03-09)

Nabucco (Italian pronunciation:  [naˈbukko] ; short for Nabucodonosor [naˌbukoˈdɔːnozor] ~ [naˌbukodonoˈzɔr] ; English: Nebuchadnezzar) is an Italian-language opera in four acts composed in 1841 by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera. The libretto is based on biblical books of Jeremiah and Daniel and the 1836 play by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornu, although Antonio Cortese's ballet adaptation of the play (with its necessary simplifications), given at La Scala in 1836, was a more important source for Solera than the play itself. [1] Under its original name of Nabucodonosor, the opera was first performed at La Scala in Milan on 9 March 1842.

Nebuchadnezzar II king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire

Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon c. 605 BC – c. 562 BC, was the longest-reigning and most powerful monarch of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

Opera artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

Giuseppe Verdi Italian opera composer

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history.


Nabucco is the opera which is considered to have permanently established Verdi's reputation as a composer. He commented that "this is the opera with which my artistic career really begins. And though I had many difficulties to fight against, it is certain that Nabucco was born under a lucky star". [2]

It follows the plight of the Jews as they are assaulted, conquered and subsequently exiled from their homeland by the Babylonian King Nabucco (in English, Nebuchadnezzar II). The historical events are used as background for a romantic and political plot. The best-known number from the opera is the "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves", "Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate" / "Fly, thought, on golden wings", a chorus which is regularly given an encore in many opera houses when performed today.

Jews ancient nation and ethnoreligious group from the Levant

Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance.

The Babylonian captivity or Babylonian exile is the period in Jewish history during which a number of people from the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylonia. After the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged Jerusalem, resulting in tribute being paid by King Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim refused to pay tribute in Nebuchadnezzar's fourth year, which led to another siege in Nebuchadnezzar's seventh year, culminating with the death of Jehoiakim and the exile of King Jeconiah, his court and many others; Jeconiah's successor Zedekiah and others were exiled in Nebuchadnezzar's eighteenth year; a later deportation occurred in Nebuchadnezzar's twenty-third year. The dates, numbers of deportations, and numbers of deportees given in the biblical accounts vary. These deportations are dated to 597 BCE for the first, with others dated at 587/586 BCE, and 582/581 BCE respectively.

Va, pensiero musical composition

"Va, pensiero", also known as the "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves", is a chorus from the opera Nabucco (1842) by Giuseppe Verdi. It recollects the period of Babylonian captivity after the loss of the First Temple in Jerusalem in c. 500 BCE.

Composition history

Giuseppe Verdi, lithograph by Roberto Focosi, c. 1840 Verdi-1840.jpg
Giuseppe Verdi, lithograph by Roberto Focosi, c. 1840
Librettist Temistocle Solera Temistocle Solera.jpg
Librettist Temistocle Solera

The success of Verdi's first opera, Oberto , resulted in Bartolomeo Merelli, La Scala's impresario, offering Verdi a contract for three more works. After the failure of his second opera Un giorno di regno (completed in 1840 towards the end of a brutal 2-year period during which both of his infant children and then his 26-year-old wife died), Verdi vowed never to compose again.

<i>Oberto</i> (opera) opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio is an opera in two acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on an existing libretto by Antonio Piazza probably called Rocester.

Bartolomeo Merelli Italian impresario and librettist

Bartolomeo Merelli was an Italian impresario and librettist, best known as the manager of the La Scala Milan opera house between 1829 and 1850, and for his support for the young Giuseppe Verdi.

La Scala Opera house in Milan, Italy

La Scala is an opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala. The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta.

In "An Autobiographical Sketch", written in 1879, Verdi tells the story of how he came to be twice persuaded by Merelli to change his mind and to write the opera. [2] The distance of 38 years from the event may have led to a somewhat romanticized view; or, as Verdi scholar Julian Budden puts it: "he was concerned to weave a protective legend about himself [since] it was all part of his fierce independence of spirit." [3] However, in Volere è potere  [ it ] ("Where there's a will ...") – written ten years closer to the event – the zoologist Michele Lessona provides a different account of the events, as allegedly recounted by Verdi himself. [4]

Julian Medforth Budden was a British opera scholar, radio producer and broadcaster. He is particularly known for his three volumes on the operas of Giuseppe Verdi, a single-volume biography in 1982 and a single-volume work on Giacomo Puccini and his operas in 2002. He is also the author of numerous entries in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

Michele Lessona Italian zoologist

Michele Lessona was an Italian zoologist.

After a chance meeting with Merelli close to La Scala, the impresario gave him a copy of Temistocle Solera's libretto which had been rejected by the composer Otto Nicolai. [2] Verdi describes how he took it home, and threw "it on the table with an almost violent gesture. ... In falling, it had opened of itself; without my realising it, my eyes clung to the open page and to one special line: 'Va pensiero, sull' ali dorate'." [5]

Otto Nicolai German composer and conductor

Carl Otto Ehrenfried Nicolai was a German composer, conductor, and one of the founders of the Vienna Philharmonic. Nicolai is best known for his operatic version of Shakespeare's comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor as Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor. In addition to five operas, Nicolai composed lieder, works for orchestra, chorus, ensemble, and solo instruments.

While it has been noted that "Verdi read it enthusiastically" [6] (and certainly he states that, while he attempted to sleep, he was kept awake and read and re-read the libretto three times), others have stated that he read the libretto very reluctantly [7] or, as recounted by Lessona, that he "threw the libretto in a corner without looking at it anymore, and for the next five months he carried on with his reading of bad novels ... [when] towards the end of May he found himself with that blessed play in his hands: he read the last scene over again, the one with the death of Abigaille (which was later cut), seated himself almost mechanically at the piano ... and set the scene to music." [4] [6]

Nevertheless, Verdi still refused to compose the music, taking the manuscript back to the impresario the next day. But Merelli would accept no refusal and he immediately stuffed the papers back into Verdi's pocket and "not only threw me out of his office, but slammed the door in my face and locked himself in". [5] Verdi claims that gradually he worked on the music: "This verse today, tomorrow that, here a note, there a whole phrase, and little by little the opera was written" [5] so that by the autumn of 1841 it was complete. At the very least, both Verdi's and Lessona's versions end with a complete score.

Performance history

19th century

The opening performances, limited to only eight because the season was coming to an end, were "a colossal success." [6] But, when the new season opened on 13 August 1842, about an additional 60 performances had been added by the end of that year.

Numerous Italian and foreign theatres put on this opera in the years immediately following, including La Fenice in Venice in December 1842. In 1843 Donizetti conducted it in Vienna, and other stagings took place that year in Lisbon and Cagliari. But the definitive name of Nabucco for the opera (and its protagonist) was first used at a performance at the San Giacomo Theatre of Corfu in September, 1844. [6] Nonetheless, a more plausible alternative for the establishment of this abbreviated form claims that it was the result of a revival of the opera in Teatro del Giglio of Lucca. [8]

The opera was first given in London at Her Majesty's Theatre on 3 March 1846 under the name of Nino, since the depiction of biblical characters on stage "was not considered proper". [9] [10] In the US it appeared at the Astor Opera House in New York on 4 April 1848. [7]

20th century and beyond

Nabucco is frequently heard around the world today. It has been on the Metropolitan Opera's roster since it was first presented there during the 1960/61 season. [11] When the Metropolitan opened its season in September 2001, eleven days after the destruction of the World Trade Center, the chorus began by singing "Va pensiero" in honor of the victims of the attack. [12]

Nabucco is also regularly performed at the Arena di Verona. [13] Among the performances preserved on DVD are those at the Arena di Verona (1981 and 2007); La Scala (1987), Opera Australia (1996), Vienna State Opera (2001), Metropolitan Opera (2002), Genoa's Teatro Carlo Felice (2004), Teatro Municipale di Piacenza (2004), and Austria's St. Margarethen Opera Festival (2007). [14]

Many other companies have also performed it, including San Francisco Opera in 1982, Sarasota Opera in 1995 and 2019, London's Royal Opera House in 1996, Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1997 and 2016, [15] the New National Theatre Tokyo in 1998, Teatro Colón in 2000, Baltimore Opera in 2006, and the Teatro Regio di Parma in 2008 as part of their on-going "Festival Verdi". [16] Nabucco was presented by the Michigan Opera Theatre and the San Diego Opera as part of their 2009–2010 seasons. The Israeli Opera celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010 with Nabucco at Masada. It was performed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1972 with Colin Davis [17] and March 2013 in a new co-production with La Scala, directed by Daniele Abbado  [ it ], [18] which was relayed to cinemas and subsequently released on DVD. Seattle Opera produced its first-ever staging of Nabucco in August 2015. [19]


Soprano Giuseppina Strepponi, the first Abigaille, c. 1840 Giuseppina Strepponi-c-1840.jpg
Soprano Giuseppina Strepponi, the first Abigaille, c. 1840
Baritone Giorgio Ronconi who sang the title role Georgio Ronconi-baritone.jpg
Baritone Giorgio Ronconi who sang the title role
Role Voice type Premiere cast, [20]
9 March 1842
(Conductor: Eugenio Cavallini)
Nabucco, King of Babylon baritone Giorgio Ronconi
Abigaille, supposedly his elder daughter soprano Giuseppina Strepponi
Fenena, his daughter mezzo-soprano Giovannina Bellinzaghi
Ismaele, nephew of the King of Jerusalem tenor Corrado Miraglia
Zaccaria, high priest of the Jews bass Prosper Dérivis
Anna, Zaccaria's sistersoprano Teresa Ruggeri
Abdallo, Babylonian soldiertenorNapoleone Marconi
High priest of Bel [21] bassGaetano Rossi
People, soldiers


Time: 587 BC
Place: Jerusalem and Babylon [22]

Act 1: Jerusalem

A scene from act 1 Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - VERDI'S - NABUCCO.jpg
A scene from act 1
'Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I shall deliver this city into the hand of the King of Babylon, and he will burn it with fire' (Jeremiah 21:10)

Interior of the Temple of Solomon

The Israelites pray as the Babylonian army advances on their city ("Gli arredi festivi giù cadano infranti" / "Throw down and destroy all festive decorations"). The High Priest Zaccaria tells the people not to despair but to trust in God ("D'Egitto là su i lidi" / "On the shores of Egypt He saved the life of Moses"). The presence of a hostage, Fenena, younger daughter of Nabucco, King of Babylon, may yet secure peace ("Come notte a sol fulgente" / "Like darkness before the sun"). Zaccaria entrusts Fenena to Ismaele, nephew of the King of Jerusalem and a former envoy to Babylon. Left alone, Fenena and Ismaele recall how they fell in love when Ismaele was held prisoner by the Babylonians, and how Fenena helped him to escape to Israel. Nabucco's supposed elder daughter, Abigaille, enters the temple with Babylonian soldiers in disguise. She, too, loves Ismaele. Discovering the lovers, she threatens Ismaele: if he does not give up Fenena, Abigaille will accuse her of treason. If Ismaele returns Abigaille's love, however, Abigaille will petition Nabucco on the Israelites' behalf. Ismaele tells Abigaille that he cannot love her and she vows revenge. Nabucco enters with his warriors ("Viva Nabucco" / "Long live Nabucco"). Zaccaria defies him, threatening to kill Fenena if Nabucco attacks the temple. Ismaele intervenes to save Fenena, which removes any impediment from Nabucco destroying the temple. He orders this, while Zaccaria and the Israelites curse Ismaele as a traitor.

Act 2: The Impious One

'Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth, it shall fall upon the head of the wicked' (Jeremiah 30:23)

Scene 1: Royal apartments in Babylon

Nabucco has appointed Fenena regent and guardian of the Israelite prisoners, while he continues the battle against the Israelites. Abigaille has discovered a document that proves she is not Nabucco's real daughter, but the daughter of slaves. She reflects bitterly on Nabucco's refusal to allow her to play a role in the war with the Israelites and recalls past happiness ("Anch'io dischiuso un giorno" / "I too once opened my heart to happiness"). The High Priest of Bel informs Abigaille that Fenena has released the Israelite captives. He plans for Abigaille to become ruler of Babylon, and with this intention has spread the rumour that Nabucco has died in battle. Abigaille determines to seize the throne ("Salgo già del trono aurato" / "I already ascend the [bloodstained] seat of the golden throne").

Scene 2: A room in the palace

Nabucco's mad scene Nabucco hpo 622.jpg
Nabucco's mad scene

Zaccaria reads over the Tablets of Law ("Vieni, o Levita" / "Come, oh Levite! [Bring me the tables of the law]"), then goes to summon Fenena. A group of Levites accuse Ismaele of treachery. Zaccaria returns with Fenena and his sister Anna. Anna tells the Levites that Fenena has converted to Judaism, and urges them to forgive Ismaele. Abdallo, a soldier, announces the death of Nabucco and warns of the rebellion instigated by Abigaille. Abigaille enters with the High Priest of Bel and demands the crown from Fenena. Unexpectedly, Nabucco himself enters; pushing through the crowd, he seizes the crown and declares himself not only king of the Babylonians but also their god. The high priest Zaccaria curses him and warns of divine vengeance; an incensed Nabucco in turn orders the death of the Israelites. Fenena reveals to him that she has embraced the Jewish religion and will share the Israelites' fate. Nabucco is furious and repeats his conviction that he is now divine ("Non son più re, son dio" / "I am no longer King! I am God!"). There is a crash of thunder and Nabucco promptly loses his senses. The crown falls from his head and is picked up by Abigaille, who pronounces herself ruler of the Babylonians.

Act 3: The Prophecy

'Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein'. (Jeremiah 50:39)

Scene 1: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Abigaille is now Queen of Babylon. The High Priest of Bel presents her with the death warrant for the Israelites, as well as for Fenena. Nabucco, still insane, tries to reclaim the throne without success. Though his consent to the death warrant is no longer necessary, Abigaille tricks him into signing it. When Nabucco learns that he has consigned his (true) daughter to death, he is overcome with grief and anger. He tells Abigaille that he is not in fact her father and searches for the document evidencing her true origins as a slave. Abigaille mocks him, produces the document and tears it up. Realizing his powerlessness, Nabucco pleads for Fenena's life ("Oh di qual onta aggravasi questo mio crin canuto"/"Oh, what shame must my old head suffer"). Abigaille is unmoved and orders Nabucco to leave her.

Scene 2: The banks of the River Euphrates

The Israelites long for their homeland ("Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate"/"Fly, thought, on golden wings"). The high priest Zaccaria once again exhorts them to have faith: God will destroy Babylon. The Israelites are inspired by his words.

Act 4: The Broken Idol

'Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken to pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.' (Jeremiah 50:2)

Scene 1: The royal apartments, Babylon

Nabucco awakens, still confused and raving. He sees Fenena in chains being taken to her death. In despair, he prays to the God of the Hebrews. He asks for forgiveness, and promises to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and convert to Judaism if his prayers are answered ("Dio di Giuda" / "God of Judah!"). Miraculously, his strength and reason are immediately restored. Abdallo and loyal soldiers enter to release him. Nabucco resolves to rescue Fenena and the Israelites as well as to punish the traitors.

Scene 2: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Fenena and the Israelite prisoners are led in to be sacrificed ("Va! La palma del martirio"/"Go, win the palm of martyrdom"). Fenena serenely prepares for death. Nabucco rushes in with Abdallo and other soldiers. He declares that he will rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem and worship the God of the Israelites, ordering the destruction of the idol of Bel. At his word, the idol falls to the ground of its own accord and shatters into pieces. Nabucco tells the Israelites that they are now free and all join in praise of Jehovah. Abigaille enters, supported by soldiers. She has poisoned herself. She begs forgiveness of Fenena, prays for God's mercy and dies. Zaccaria proclaims Nabucco the servant of God and king of kings.


Nabucco in Eberswalde by the Silesian Opera, August 2004 Nabucco.jpg
Nabucco in Eberswalde by the Silesian Opera, August 2004

The historical Nebuchadnezzar II (c. 634–562 BC) took Jerusalem in 597 BC, but the madness plot of the opera differs from both archeological and biblical records of him. In the Book of Daniel, his madness lasts for seven years before his conversion to Judaism. [23] But in the opera it only lasts for the time between the order to kill the Fenena and the Jews, and it being carried out. The biblical story of seven year madness followed by conversion bears more similarity to the Dead Sea Scrolls' story of Nabonidus (556–539 BC), father of Belshazzar in the Cylinders of Nabonidus, than to the historical Nebuchadnezzar. [24] Nabonidus was the last king of Babylon, five kings later than Nebuchadnezzar, and Belshazzar was a temporary regent during Nabonidus' reign. Historical and biblical records agree that the Jews were freed and their temple was rebuilt not by the Babylonians but by Cyrus the Great following his conquest of Babylon in 539 BC. [25] The opera's Nabucco character is thus a composite of historical and biblical Nebuchadnezzar II, Nabonidus and Cyrus.

Babylonians addressed their own god as "Bel" (Italian: Belo), but the proper name of the deity is Marduk, who assumed the title of "lord" after his exaltation. The title "Bel" was in fact used also in connection with Nergal. [26]

Anachronisms in the opera include the use and tearing of paper documents. In this period such documents would probably have been written on clay tablets in cuneiform.

Critical reaction

The opera was an instant success, dominating Donizetti's and Giovanni Pacini's operas playing nearby. While the public went mad with enthusiasm, the critics tempered their approval of the opera.

One critic who found Nabucco revolting was Otto Nicolai, the composer to whom the libretto was first offered. A Prussian, Nicolai felt at odds with emotional Italian opera while he lived near Milan. After refusing to accept the libretto proposal from Merelli, Nicolai began work on another offer called Il Proscritto. Its disastrous premiere in March 1841 forced Nicolai to cancel his contract with Merelli and return to Vienna. From there he learned of the success of Nabucco and was enraged. "Verdi's operas are really horrible," he wrote. "He scores like a fool technically he is not even professional and he must have the heart of a donkey and in my view he is a pitiful, despicable composer ... Nabucco is nothing but "rage, invective, bloodshed and murder."" [27]

However, Nicolai's opinions were in the minority and, today, he has become comparatively obscure. Nabucco secured Verdi's success until his retirement from the theatre, twenty-nine operas (including some revised and updated versions) later.

Music historians have long perpetuated a powerful myth about the famous "Va, pensiero" chorus sung in the third act by the Hebrew slaves. Scholars have long believed the audience, responding with nationalistic fervor to the slaves' powerful hymn of longing for their homeland, demanded an encore of the piece. As encores were expressly forbidden by the Austrian authorities ruling northern Italy at the time to prevent public protests, [28] such a gesture would have been extremely significant. However, recent scholarship puts this and the corresponding myth of "Va, pensiero" as the national anthem of the Risorgimento to rest. Although the audience did indeed demand an encore, it was not for "Va, pensiero" but rather for the hymn "Immenso Jehova," sung by the Hebrew slaves to thank God for saving His people. In light of these new revelations, Verdi's position as the musical figurehead of the Risorgimento has been correspondingly revised. [29] [30] At Verdi's funeral however, the crowds in the streets spontaneously broke into "Va, pensiero". [31]


The overture, often played outside the context of the complete work in orchestral concerts, mostly consists of themes from the opera, including the Chorus of Hebrew Slaves and the warlike music when the Israelites curse Ismaele for his betrayal. A stage band is used extensively in the opera, both for the march accompanying Nabucco on his arrival and for Fenena's funeral march. Propulsive energetic rhythms are a notable feature of much of the music, contrasted with more lyrical moments, providing dramatic pace. Both the bass Zaccaria in his prayer "Vieni o Levita", a quiet piece with the unusual accompaniment of six cellos, and the baritone Nabucco in his mad scene and other passages, are given music of great expressiveness, providing outstanding opportunities for the singers, but the tenor role of Ismaele is comparatively minor, unusual for a Verdi opera. The music for Abigaille is extremely demanding, requiring a soprano who can sing both very low and very high with dramatic force and is also capable of virtuoso vocal decoration. More than any of the soloists, however, the chorus, used in a new and dramatic fashion, is at the centre of the opera. [32]


Nabucco is scored for two flutes (one doubling as piccolo), two oboes (one doubling as English horn), two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones (two tenor, one bass), one cimbasso, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, side drum, triangle, two harps, strings, and an onstage band.


(Nabucco, Abigaille, Zaccaria, Ismaele, Fenena)
Opera house and orchestra
Label [33]
1949 Gino Bechi,
Maria Callas,
Luciano Neroni,
Gino Sinimberghi,
Amalia Pini
Vittorio Gui,
Teatro di San Carlo Orchestra and Chorus (live recording)
CD: Melodram
MEL 26029-2
1951 Paolo Silveri,
Caterina Mancini,
Antonio Cassinelli,
Mario Binci,
Gabriella Gatti
Fernando Previtali,
Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Roma della RAI
CD: Warner Fonit
8573 82646-2
1965 Tito Gobbi,
Elena Souliotis,
Carlo Cava,
Bruno Prevedi,
Dora Caral
Lamberto Gardelli,
Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Chorus
CD: Decca
Cat: 417 407-2
1977–78 Matteo Manuguerra,
Renata Scotto,
Nicolai Ghiaurov,
Veriano Luchetti,
Elena Obraztsova
Riccardo Muti,
Philharmonia Orchestra and the Ambrosian Opera Chorus
CD: EMI Records
Cat: 747 488-2
1982 Piero Cappuccilli,
Ghena Dimitrova,
Yevgeny Nesterenko,
Plácido Domingo,
Lucia Valentini Terrani
Giuseppe Sinopoli,
Deutsche Oper Berlin
Cat: DG 410 512-2
1987 Renato Bruson,
Ghena Dimitrova,
Paata Burchuladze,
Bruno Beccaria,
Raquel Pierotti
Riccardo Muti,
La Scala Orchestra and Chorus
DVD: Warner
Cat: 5050467-0944-2-0
1999 Renato Bruson,
Maria Guleghina,
Ferruccio Furlanetto,
Fabio Armiliato,
Elena Zaremba
Daniel Oren,
Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Opera Chorus
CD: Valois Auvidis
Cat: V4852 [34]
2002 Juan Pons,
Maria Guleghina,
Samuel Ramey,
Gwyn Hughes Jones,
Wendy White
James Levine,
Metropolitan Opera
DVD: DG, live recording
Cat: B0006O9M6S
2004Alberto Gazzale,
Susan Neves,
Orlin Anastassov,
Yasuharu Nakajiima,
Annamaria Popescu
Riccardo Frizza,
Teatro Carlo Felice Orchestra and Chorus
DVD: Dynamic, live recording
Cat: 33465
2004 Renato Bruson,
Maurizio Frusoni,
Lauren Flanigan,
Carlo Colombara,
Monica Bacelli
Paolo Carignani,
Teatro San Carlo Naples Orchestra and Chorus
DVD: Brilliant Classics, live recording
Cat: 92270
2007 Leo Nucci,
Maria Guleghina,
Carlo Colombara,
Fabio Sartori,
Nino Surguladze,
Daniel Oren,
Arena di Verona Orchestra and Chorus
DVD: Decca, live recording
Cat: DDD 0440 074 3245 7 DH
2009Leo Nucci,
Dimitra Theodossiou,
Riccardo Zanellato,
Bruno Ribeiro,
Annamaria Chiuri
Michele Mariotti,
Teatro Regio di Parma
DVD:C Major,live recording

Related Research Articles

<i>Il trovatore</i> opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Il trovatore is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto largely written by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El trovador (1836) by Antonio García Gutiérrez. It was Gutiérrez's most successful play, one which Verdi scholar Julian Budden describes as "a high flown, sprawling melodrama flamboyantly defiant of the Aristotelian unities, packed with all manner of fantastic and bizarre incident."

<i>Ernani</i> opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Ernani is an operatic dramma lirico in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play Hernani by Victor Hugo.

Belshazzar Biblical king of Babylonia in the Book of Daniel

Belshazzar was the eldest son of Nabonidus, the last king of the Neo-Babylonian empire, and regent for his father during the latter's prolonged absence from the city, although he never assumed the titles or ritual functions of kingship. He may have been killed when Babylon fell to the Persians in 539 BCE.

Cyrus the Great in the Bible

Cyrus the Great figures in the Hebrew Bible as the patron and deliverer of the Jews. He is mentioned 23 times by name and alluded to several times more. According to the Bible, Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, was the monarch under whom the Babylonian captivity ended. In the first year of his reign he was prompted by God to decree that the Temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt and that such Jews as cared to might return to their land for this purpose. Moreover, he showed his interest in the project by sending back with them the sacred vessels which had been taken from the First Temple and a considerable sum of money with which to buy building materials. The existence of the decree has been challenged.

Giuseppina Strepponi Italian singer

Clelia Maria Josepha (Giuseppina) Strepponi was a nineteenth-century Italian operatic soprano of great renown and the second wife of composer Giuseppe Verdi.

<i>Un giorno di regno</i> operatic melodramma giocoso in 2 acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto written in 1818 by Felice Romani, based on the play Le faux Stanislas by A. V. P. Duval in 1808; first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan on 5 Sept. 1840

Un giorno di regno, ossia Il finto Stanislao is an operatic melodramma giocoso in two acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto written in 1818 by Felice Romani. Originally written for the Bohemian composer Adalbert Gyrowetz the libretto was based on the play Le faux Stanislas written by the Frenchman Alexandre-Vincent Pineux Duval in 1808. Un giorno was given its premiere performance at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan on 5 September 1840.

<i>I Lombardi alla prima crociata</i> opera by Giuseppe Verdi

I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata is an operatic dramma lirico in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on an epic poem by Tommaso Grossi, which was "very much a child of its age; a grand historical novel with a patriotic slant". Its first performance was given at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 11 February 1843. Verdi dedicated the score to Maria Luigia, the Habsburg Duchess of Parma, who died a few weeks after the premiere.

<i>Les vêpres siciliennes</i> opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Les vêpres siciliennes is a grand opera in five acts by the Italian romantic composer Giuseppe Verdi set to a French libretto by Eugène Scribe and Charles Duveyrier from their work Le duc d'Albe, which was written in 1838. Les vêpres followed immediately after Verdi's three great mid-career masterpieces, Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La traviata of 1850 to 1853 and was first performed at the Paris Opéra on 13 June 1855.

<i>Giovanna dArco</i> dramma lirico in a prologue and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi

Giovanna d'Arco is an operatic dramma lirico with a prologue and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, who had prepared the libretti for Nabucco and I Lombardi. It is Verdi's seventh opera.

<i>Attila</i> (opera) opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Attila is an opera in a prologue and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on the 1809 play Attila, König der Hunnen by Zacharias Werner. The opera received its first performance at La Fenice in Venice on 17 March 1846.

Neo-Babylonian Empire Former empire

The Neo-Babylonian Empire was a period of Mesopotamian history which began in 626 BC and ended in 539 BC. During the preceding three centuries, Babylonia had been ruled by their fellow Akkadian speakers and northern neighbours, Assyria. A year after the death of the last strong Assyrian ruler, Ashurbanipal, in 627 BC, the Assyrian empire spiralled into a series of brutal civil wars. Babylonia rebelled under Nabopolassar. In alliance with the Medes, Persians, Scythians and Cimmerians, they sacked the city of Nineveh in 612 BC, and the seat of empire was transferred to Babylonia for the first time since the death of Hammurabi in the mid-18th century BC. This period witnessed a general improvement in economic life and agricultural production, and a great flourishing of architectural projects, the arts and science.

<i>Jérusalem</i> Opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Jérusalem is a grand opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The libretto was to be an adaptation and partial translation of the composer's original 1843 Italian opera, I Lombardi alla prima crociata. It was the one opera which he regarded as the most suitable for being translated into French and, taking Eugène Scribe's advice, Verdi agreed that a French libretto was to be prepared by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz, who had written the libretto for Donizetti's most successful French opera, La favorite. The opera received its premiere performance at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris on 26 November 1847. The maiden production was designed by Paul Lormier (costumes), Charles Séchan, Jules Diéterle and Édouard Desplechin, and Charles-Antoine Cambon and Joseph Thierry.

Nebuchadnezzar III king of Babylon

Nebuchadnezzar III ruled over Babylon. He claimed to be the second son of Nabonidus.

<i>Il templario</i> opera

Il templario is an Italian-language opera by the German composer Otto Nicolai from a libretto written by Girolamo Maria Marini based on Walter Scott's Ivanhoe.

Risorgimento! is an opera in one act by Lorenzo Ferrero set to an Italian-language libretto by Dario Oliveri, based on a scenario by the composer. It was completed in 2010 and first performed at the Teatro Comunale Modena on 26 March 2011.

Rafał Siwek

Rafał Siwek – Polish opera singer (bass)



  1. Budden, 1973, p. 95
  2. 1 2 3 Verdi, "An Autobiographical Sketch" 1879 in Werfel and Stefan 1973, pp. 87–92. See also George Martin 1983 "Autobiographic Sketch and Nabucco" pp. 81–85
  3. Budden 1973, p. 92
  4. 1 2 Lessona, pp. 297–98, in Budden 1973, p. 92
  5. 1 2 3 Verdi in Werfel and Stefan 1973, pp. 88–90
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Nabucodonosor: History" Archived 2013-12-19 at the Wayback Machine on, in English. Retrieved 1 April 2013
  7. 1 2 David Kimbell, in Holden, pp. 978–79
  8. Budden 1985, Verdi, p. 20
  9. Budden 1973, p. 112.
  10. "Her Majesty's Theatre", The Times, 4 March 1846, p. 5
  11. Metropolitan Opera, Search: Nabucco; Repertory Statistics
  12. Ross, Alex, Listen to This, p. 203, Picador (2011)
  13. Arena di Verona, Performance Archives
  14. Royal Opera House DVD Catalog
  15. Von Rhein, John (22 September 1997). "Striking Opening For Lyric". Chicago Tribune
  16. Parma's 2008 "Festival Verdi" Archived 2009-03-06 at the Wayback Machine
  17. Nabucco – 23 March 1972 Evening, performance details, Royal Opera House Collections Online
  18. Church, Michael (1 April 2013)."Review: Nabucco, Royal Opera House, London". The Independent . Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  19. Melinda Bargreen (2015-08-10). "Seattle Opera's Nabucco: An old story, told in a new way". The Seattle Times . Retrieved 2016-05-08.
  20. Mesa, Franklin (January 2007). Opera: An Encyclopedia of World Premieres and Significant Performances, Singers, Composers, Librettists, Arias and Conductors, 1597-2000. McFarland & Company. p. 184. ISBN   9780786409594.
  21. In non-Italian-language productions, usually shown as priest to Baal.
  22. Parts of this synopsis were first published on Opera japonica (Archived 15 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine ; author: Simon Holledge) and appear here by permission.
  23. Seow, C.L. (2003). Daniel. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN   9780664256753.
  24. "Prayer of Nabonidus". Center for Online Judaic Studies. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  25. Winn Leith, Mary Joan (2001) [1998]. "Israel among the Nations: The Persian Period". In Michael David Coogan (ed.). The Oxford History of the Biblical World (Google Books). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. p. 285. ISBN   0-19-513937-2. LCCN   98016042. OCLC   44650958 . Retrieved 14 December 2012.CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)
  26. James Orr (1915). The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia. Howard-Severance Company. pp. 349–. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  27. Nicolai quoted in Budden, 1973, p. 93
  28. Parker, Roger (1997). Arpa d'or dei fatidici vati: The Verdian Patriotic Chorus in the 1840s. EDT srl. p. 23. ISBN   978-88-85065-15-4.
  29. Parker, Leonora's Last Act, 1997
  30. Parker, "Verdi and Milan", 2007
  31. Phillips-Matz 1993, p. 765
  32. Parker,Roger. "Nabucco". In Deane L. Root. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online . Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  33. Recordings on
  34. Matthew Boyden; Nick Kimberley (2002). Joe Staines, ed. The Rough Guide to Opera. Rough Guides. p. 216. ISBN   9781858287492.

Cited sources

Other sources