By Giuseppe Verdi • October 10, 13, 16, 18, 2015
What made Nabucco LARGER THAN LIFE? The chills you got when Mark Delavan (who's sung here as Falstaff, Rigoletto, and Scarpia) portrayed the troubled monarch. The epic story of the Jews in exile in Babylon. The impressive and affecting projections that accompanied this big, traditional production. That most beloved of choruses, "Va, pensiero." The poignant family story of betrayal and reconciliation at the heart of the opera.
• Sung in the original Italian with projected English titles
• All performances at the Benedum Center
► See more NABUCCO video at our YouTube channel.
Previews and Reviews for NABUCCO
• Nabucco receives first Pittsburgh Opera staging since 1973 - Post-Gazette
• Pittsburgh Opera opens season with the opera that made Verdi famous - Tribune-Review
• Pittsburgh Opera brings back 'Nabucco' - Pittsburgh Owl Scribe
REVIEW: 'Nabucco' is powerful, imaginative vision of Verdi's classic - Tribune-Review
REVIEW: Pittsburgh Opera opens new season with 'Nabucco' - Post-Gazette
REVIEW: Pittsburgh Opera opens season with a Verdi rarity and a success - PGH Stage
Thanks to our sponsors and partners
Season Sponsor: PNC
Season Media Sponsor: WQED-FM
Supported in part by Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
Supported in part by Allegheny Regional Asset District
Proud member of Opera America
Official Chocolatier: Sarris Candies
Film Series Partner: Pittsburgh Filmmakers
The Nabucco Cast
Raymond Very: Ismaele
The Nabucco Creative Team
Conductor Antony Walker
Stage Director Bernard Uzan
Set Designer Bernard Uzan & Michael Baumgarten
Costume Designer Malabar Ltd.
Lighting Designer Michael Baumgarten
Assistant Conductor Glenn Lewis
Chorus Master Mark Trawka
Associate Coach/Pianist James Lesniak
Hair & Makeup Designer James Geier
Assistant Director Jennifer Williams *
+ Pittsburgh Opera debut
* Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist
** Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alumni
We want you to have the best experience possible at our performances!
- Study Guide for NABUCCO (PDF), created by our Education department
- Run time for NABUCCO: 2 hours, 30 minutes, including 1 intermission
- Understand Every Word: Supertitles shown at all performances
- Downtown Parking: get real-time parking availability
- Pre-Opera Talks at each performance
- Audio Description available at the Benedum Center
- Braille Programs available at the Benedum Center
- Large-Print Programs available at the Benedum Center
In the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, the Israelites pray for help against Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar), the King of Babylon, who has attacked the city. Zaccaria, their high priest, enters with Nabucco’s daughter, Fenena, whom the Hebrews hold hostage. He reassures his people that the Lord will not forsake them. As the Israelites leave, Ismaele, nephew of the king of Jerusalem, is left alone with Fenena, who helped him escape from imprisonment in Babylon. Their conversation is interrupted by the sudden appearance of Fenena’s half-sister, Abigaille, with some Babylonian soldiers. Abigaille, who is also in love with Ismaele, tells him that she can save his people if he will return her love, but he refuses. The Israelites rush back into the temple in a panic, and when Nabucco enters with his warriors, Zaccaria confronts him, threatening to kill Fenena. Ismaele disarms Zaccaria and delivers Fenena to her father. Nabucco orders the destruction of the temple.
Nabucco has appointed Fenena regent while he is away at war. Abigaille, back in the royal palace in Babylon, has found a document saying that she is not the king’s daughter, but the child of slaves. Foreseeing a future in which Fenena and Ismaele will rule together over Babylon, she swears vengeance on Nabucco and Fenena. The High Priest of Baal arrives with news that Fenena has freed the Israelite prisoners. As a result of Fenena’s treason, he offers the throne to Abigaille and spreads a rumor that Nabucco has died in battle. Meanwhile, Zaccaria prays for inspiration to persuade the Babylonians to give up their false idols. Ismaele enters and the priests accuse him of treachery, but Zaccaria announces that he has been pardoned for saving a fellow Israelite—the newly converted Fenena. An officer rushes in to warn Fenena that the king is dead and her life is in danger. Before she can escape, the High Priest of Baal arrives with Abigaille and the Babylonians, who proclaim Abigaille ruler. She is about to crown herself when, to the astonishment of all, Nabucco appears. He snatches the crown from her, faces the crowd and declares himself not only their king but their god. For this blasphemy, a thunderbolt strikes him down. A triumphant Abigaille takes the crown for herself.
In the Hanging Gardens, the Babylonians hail Abigaille as their ruler. The High Priest urges her to have the Israelites killed, but before she can give the order, a disheveled Nabucco wanders in. Abigaille dismisses the crowd and, alone with Nabucco, tricks him into signing the death warrant for the captive Israelites. He asks what will happen to Fenena, and Abigaille replies that she too must die. When Nabucco tries to find the document proving Abigaille’s ancestry, she produces it and tears it to pieces. He pleads in vain for Fenena’s life. On the banks of the Euphrates, the Israelites rest from forced labor, their thoughts turning to their homeland. Zaccaria predicts they will overcome captivity and obliterate Babylon with the help of God.
Fenena and the Israelites are led to execution, and Nabucco can only watch, as he has been imprisoned by Abigaille. Desperate, he prays to the God of Israel for forgiveness, pledging to convert himself and his people. His sanity restored, he forces open the door and summons his soldiers to regain the throne and save his daughter. The Israelites are about to be executed. Fenena prays to be received into heaven when Nabucco rushes in and stops the sacrifice. Abigaille, full of remorse, takes poison and dies, confessing her crimes and praying to the God of Israel to pardon her. Nabucco announces his conversion and frees the Israelites, telling them to return to their native land and rebuild their temple. Israelites and Babylonians are united in praising God.
- Courtesy of Opera News, freely edited