November 15, Thursday 18.00, Lviv Opera Auditorium
Оdessa National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet
Libretto by Temistocle Solera
Opera in 4 acts (performed with one interval)
Premiere on theatre’s stage – 18 Oktober, 2017
Conductor – Aleksandru Samoile, People’s Artist of Moldova
Director – Vasyl Vovkun, People’s Artist of Ukraine
Stage designer – Tadey Ryndzak, People’s Artist of Ukraine
Costume designer – Sergey Vasiliev
Chorus Master – Leonid Butenko, Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine
Choreographer – Yanina Kyseleva
Light designer – Vyacheslav Usherenko
Videographer – Vitaliy Galak
Nabucco, King of Babylon – Viktor Mityushkin, Honoured Artist of Ukraine
Abigaille, a slave girl, supposedly the elder daughter of Nabucco – Ganna Litvinova
Fennen, Nabucco’s daughter – Tetyana Spasska, Honoured Artist of Ukraine
Zaccaria, high priest of the Jews – Viktor Shevchenko
Ismaele, nephew of the King of Jerusalem – Vladyslav Goray, Honoured Artist of Ukraine Abdallo, the armour bearer of the King of Babylon – Viktor Muzychko
Anna, Zaccaria’s sister – Larysa Zuenko, People’s Artist of Ukraine
High Priest of Bel – Sergiy Uzun
Orchestra, choir, ballet artists and supernumeraries of theatre
Conductor – Aleksandru Samoile, the Principal conductor of the theatre, People’s Artist of Moldova
Verdi said that opera “Nabucco” had begun his music career. “Nabucco was the first successful Verdi’s opera that encouraged him to continue to write music although his first two operas had failed. La Scala impresario turned Verdi’s attention on the Solera’s libretto of “Nebuchadnezzar”. The Biblical plot about repentance for the sins, way through suffering to true faith, sorrows of miserable Jews, the deceit of Abigaille, who strived to seize power at all costs, excited Verdi and note by note he created the entire opera. The premiere took place in La Scala on the 9th of March, 1842 and made a furore. Verdi became famous in one day.
Nabucco – as a warning of the world tragedy…
Almost every day on Google in the section «Science» we are warned about some dangerous asteroids approaching the Earth… Scientists are looking for life outside the Earth on the nearest planets…In 1841 Giuseppe Verdi in the opera «Nabucco» conveys the anxiety and worries about the Earth Temple before the nightmare of the future to his contemporaries and future generations, feeling the tremble that seized Europe even then, before 1848…«Maestro of revolution», apart from the innovation in the opera genre, he could recreate space and time in a spiral form in music itself.The events of the VI century BC. are realized and interpreted by us at the level of new intellectual and emotional comprehension. Verdi unites the past and the present into one chain and his power of thought is revealed in current time with new challenges and threats to the terrestrial civilization.In most cases theatre responds by staging this opera in the most exigent, dramatic and tragic moments of history.«Nabucco» as a genius mystical work that appeared on the cutting edge of era, time and style, is not always popular in peaceful times. Its mission is to be a symbol of restoring hope and justice during the highest point of tension and human fear, so it asserts us in the future.Perhaps, due to this, in our tumultuous times, in Odessa National Opera House arises the idea of staging «Nabucco» by Giuseppe Verdi. Nowadays, when the world is holding its breath in anticipation of some universal tragedy… Temple – Earth becomes defenseless in face of either the Creator’s will or the will of humanity itself. The Earth is just a poppy seed in spaceward, it is constantly under the threat of collision with extraterrestrial asteroids. In our case, (artist T. Ryndzak) on the stones that are pouring from the sky, the phrases in Hebrew from the Torah are written and the faces of those who guarded and prayed for the Earth Temple are seen. The army of Nabucco – the king of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar II – looks like a modern unspiritual monster that is ready to wipe out the Holy Temple, being zombified by the power. It presents evil, the essence of which is death. In face of such a terrible enemy invasion High Priest Zacharias tries to inspire his nation with hope, to save the Temple, invoking God’s salvation. Here is a contraposition not only between the nations, cultures or world perceptions. Two clearly ideologically hostile world forces are presented here… The fates of all main characters of the work are dramatic for each one in its own way. However, Nabucco’s destiny is one of the most tragic. The pretentiously defective person, endowed with unlimited power, owning a great country, the most powerful army in the world and technical weapons, he ceases to realize human predestination, the scope of human capabilities. Then at the highest peak of glory, the Almighty deprives him of common sense. Intelligence abandons the king, he again becomes a blank sheet of paper, but God does not deprive him of love … love for his daughter Fenene… Exactly with love Nabucco calls to God of the Jews, asking for the salvation of loving daughter and with love recognizing the power of the Creator over himself and over the world. The Temple will be saved by his love… The Earth Temple will be saved by human repentance…
People’s Artist of Ukraine
Solomon Temple in Jerusalem.
Babylonian army surrounds Jerusalem. The priests, levites and common citizens pray and ask God to protect them from cruel Babylonians. The High Priest Zaccaria tells people not to despair for he managed to take Fenena, the daughter of the Babylonian king, a prisoner. Such a captive may bring peace between Assyrian and Jewish people.
The nephew of the king of Jerusalem Ismaele recognizes his beloved Fenena who once has released him from the captivity in Babylon. The young man wishes to save the princess. Meanwhile Abigaille, the natural daughter of Nabucco, bursts in leading Assyrian soldiers to occupy the temple. She desires to inherit the throne. She is passionately in love with Ismaele but her love is unrequited. Abigaille promises to save Jewish people in return of Ismaele love but it is impossible. The temple is overcrowded. Assyrian army is approaching Jerusalem. Nabucco appears. Zaccaria confronts him and threatens to stab Fenena if the Assyrian king and his warriors desecrate the temple. But Ismaele holds back Zaccaria’s blow and delivers Fenena to her father. While Zaccaria and the others curse Ismaele, Nabucco orders to loot and burn the temple.
The royal apartments in Babylon
Abigaille has obtained the document confirming that she is a daughter of the king and the slave-girl. This means that she cannot inherit the throne. The High Priest enters and informs Abigaille that Nabucco has appointed Fenena the regent for the time of his absence. But she has released the Jewish captives and wants to be Judaized. The High Priest decides to offer Abigaille the throne and tells people that their king was killed in the battle.
Being captured Zaccaria prays for help to his people. Ismaele comes to levites and asks for forgiveness but they accuse him of committing high treason. Zaccaria’s sister Anna appears and declares that Fenena will help the Jewish people.
Having heard joyful news people come to the palace. Abdallo, a soldier, comes and tells Fenena that priest and Abigaille are going to arrest Fenena as a traitress. Abdallo suggests Fenena to escape but she refuses. Abigaille demands the royal scepter. At that moment, to the astonishment of all people, Nabucco enters, takes the crown and puts it on his head. He is irritated by the treachery and proclaims himself a king and a god. Suddenly lightning strikes him and he becomes insane. Abigaille takes the crown.
The Throne room in the palace in Babylon
Abigaille is the Queen of Babylon now. The ball is held in the palace in her honor. The High Priest asks her to put the Jews and Fenena to death. Suddenly Nabucco appears. He is insane and is under house arrest. Abigaille dismisses the others and makes him to sign the death warrant for Jewish people and his own daughter. Nabucco is overcome with grief and anger having realized what he had done. He tries to find the document that proves Abigaille’s slave origin. But that is Abigaille who has is and she destroys it triumphantly. Nabucco pleads with Abigaille for Fenena’s life, but she refuses.
The bank of the River Euphrates
The Jews are desperately homesick being so far from their motherland. Zaccaria appears and predicts that Babylon will fall and God will help them to be released from captivity.
The royal palace in Babylon
Imprisoned Nabucco awakens in the palace, after the nightmares. He sees Fenena waiting for the execution. He prays to God of the Jews for forgiveness and asks to save his daughter from death. His strength and reason are immediately restored. Nabucco with his faithful followers goes to save Fenena. The statue of Assyrian god falls before the eyes of astonished people. Nabucco glorifies Jehovah and frees the prisoners. Abigaille loses last hope to come to power and takes poison. Praying and begging pardon she dies.