Nabucco is the opera that made Verdi's reputation. It tells the story of the Jewish exile by King Nebuchadnezzar (Nabucco in Italian), and a further tale of political intrigue and romance. It placed the chorus element at the centre of the performance, rather than the solo arias, which was a significant part of the opera's immediate success. It is still performed often today, and you can buy or sell Nabucco tickets on StubHub with ease.
An opera in search of a name
Nabucco was the third opera that Verdi wrote, even though he had vowed never to write another after the failure of his previous work, Un Giorno di Regno. However, he was encouraged by his patron, the impresario of La Scala, who had given him a contract to compose three more operas after the success of his debut work, Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio. The first performances, under Verdi's original name for the opera, Nabucodonosor, found resounding acclaim. It wasn't long before his creation was being performed outside of Italy, performing its UK debut at Her Majesty's Theatre in 1846. As an indication of the sensibilities that still needed to be negotiated in the theatre world, the opera was titled "Nino", as it was not deemed appropriate for religious figures to be portrayed on stage in the country at the time. Since then, so many Nabucco tickets have been sold that it has become a staple of many opera seasons and made a real name for itself. The New York Metropolitan Opera has staged it annually since 1960.
Challenging baritone and soprano roles
Nabucco is a sumptuous opera, in keeping with its depiction of Babylon's famous king of excess. It's set inside the Temple of Solomon itself, so there's no beating around the bush when it comes to sacred scene setting. It follows a familiar royal tragedy theme, that of the king who loses his mind and has to deal with the bitter consequences once returned to sanity, with Nebuchadnezzar cast as a sort of King Lear, if you will. The opera has always called for a strong male lead, as well as an exceptional female soprano who needs to operate equally comfortably at the lower and higher extremes of the register. One of the most admired lead performances has been that of the Italian baritone and Verdi specialist, Leo Nucci. His recorded versions of the opera are counted among the most defining performances ever. Other memorable performances have included the 25th anniversary performance of the Israeli Opera at the ancient ruins of Masada, accompanied by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Any performance of the opera is a treat for opera lovers and novices alike, so don't hesitate to buy Nabucco tickets when you see them on StubHub.
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