Opera in four acts
Booklet of Temistocle Solera,
After Nebuchadnezzar (1836), drama by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornu
Creation on 9 March 1842 at La Scala in Milan
Sung in Italian, surtitled in French
When Nabucco triumphs on the stage of La Scala, the life of Giuseppe Verdi aged 29, has already been marked by tragic events: the death of his wife and two children.
After the fiasco of his first opera Un giorno di regno two years before, Verdi resolutely took up the music paper to compose, on a libretto by Temistocle Solera, the masterpiece that will open the way to consecration. It is in these whirlwinds of emotion that the famous chorus "Va pensiero" is born. Metaphor of the Italian condition, then subject to Austrian domination, this song inflamed the hearts of the patriots from its inception. For the historian Pierre Milza it is clear that "this opera and others participated in the awakening of Italian national sentiment and the emergence of the spirit of 1848".
The religious drama and the double story of love and jealousy of the daughters of King Nabucco, Fenena and Abigaille-all of them Jewish Ismael's twits-are played out against the biblical episode of the Jews' deportation to Babylon following the siege of Jerusalem in 586 BC. The libretto of Nabucco is taken from the drama Nabuchodonosor by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornu, created in Paris in 1836
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