Making of Nabucco (The) (Arena di Verona, 2007)

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- (Disc 1)


Narrator: Faelli, Marco
Narrator: Krief, Denis
Narrator: Nucci, Leo
Narrator: Oren, Daniel

Year of Production: 2007
Playing Time: 00:18:27
Catalogue Number: A00501021
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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 struck a patriotic chord 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" (Suddeutsche Zeitung, 26 June 2007).

Part 1


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