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Nabucco: Arena di Verona — 100th Opera Festival

Verona, Arena di Verona

Seating plan Best seats  3 h 30 min Give as a gift card

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About the Event

Soak up the emotional drama on stage and the heat of ancient stones, as Verdi's great patriotic opera fills the Arena di Verona with family and political drama, and unforgettable music.

Few settings could be more fitting for this drama on a grand scale as the fate of a nation plays out through Verdi's score, including the 'Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves' — an historical rallying cry in Italy's fight for nationhood, and one of the world's most‐loved opera choruses.

'Nabucco is an opera in four acts composed by Giuseppe Verdi in 1841 on a libretto by Temistocle Solera. The libretto is based on a 1836 play by Auguste Anicet‐Bourgeois and Francis Cornu, and on the biblical books of Daniel and Jeremiah.

Combining romance and politics, as the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (Nabucco) assaults Jerusalem, personal dramas play out. Enslaved, the Israelites sing the famous 'Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves'  — an extract that achieved instant success as an unofficial revoutionary hymn for the northern Italians chafing under Habsburg rule — and eventually emerge triumphant.

Act 1
The Israelites of Jerusalem bewail their fate as the Babylonians besiege Jerusalem. They hope Fenena, Nabucco's daughter, held as a hostage, may save them the worst of the Balbylonian's rage.

Ismaele, the son of the King of Jerusalem enters to warn that the Babylonian army is victorious, and Zaccaria, the High Priest, leaves Fenena in his care. Fenena and Ismaele speak of their meeting in Babylon, and their love for one another.

Fenena's warrior sister, Abigaille, bursts into the temple at the head of a troop of Babylonian soldiers. Abigaille promises Ismaele his life and clemency for his people if he will return her love and become her consort. Ismaele declines, and the victorious Nabucco enters the Temple.

Zaccaria curses the Babylonian king as a blasphemer, and threatens to kill Fenena, but Ismaele intervenes to save his beloved and returns her, unharmed, to her father. The Israelites curse Ismaele, and Nabucco orders the Temple looted and razed to the ground.

Act 2
In Babylon, Abigaille finds a document that shows she is not the daughter of the king, but the child of slaves. She thinks of how different things might have been if Ismaele had returned her love, but vows vengeance on Nabucco and his heir, Fenena.

The High Priest of Baal enters to say that the Babylonians have decided to offer the throne to Abigaille, as Fenena has freed the Israelite prisoners.

Zaccaria prays for God's guidance in his quest to convert the Babylonians, starting with Fenena. A palace advisor rushes in to tell the newly‐converted Fenena of rumours that the King is dead, and Abigaille stands poised to take the throne.

Before Fenena can escape, Abigaille and the High Priest of Baal enter, sentence the Israelites to death, and demand the royal scepter from Fenena, who defies her sister. Suddenly Nabucco reappears and proclaims himself both King and God. The King is struck down by a lightning bolt, and goes insane.

Act 3
Abigaille is acclaimed as ruler of Babylon. The High Priest urges her to sign the warrant for the execution of the Israelite prisoners.

Nabucco enters, and Abigaille placates him by saying she is acting as Regent until he returns to health. Abigaille convinces Nabucco to sign the warrant, then taunts him with the fact that Fenena's life is also forfeit. Nabucco tries to find the document proving Abigaille's parentage, but she tears it up in front of him. Nabucco looks for support from the guards, but realises none remain loyal to him.

On the banks of the Euphrates, the Israelites rest from their forced labours, and dream of returning to their homeland, victorious.

Act 4
Nabucco awakes from a restless sleep to hear the sounds of Fenena being lead to her execution. He tries to intervene, but realises he too is a prisoner. Nabucco prays to the Israelite's God to save his daughter, promising that he will convert and lead all of his people to do likewise. Nabucco's reason returns, and he is able to convince his advisors that he is himself again, and to rally forces loyal to his authority.

Outside, Fenena goes to her death, hailed as a martyr. Nabucco arrives just in time, and calls for the statue of Baal to be destroyed. Miraculously, it tumbles down.

Abigaille takes poison, and confesses her crimes as she dies, praying for Ismaele and Fenena to be united, and for the forgiveness of the Israelites' God. Nabucco commands the Israelites to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple. He now shares their faith. The crowd praises God for the miracle they have witnessed.

Practical Information

Included are:
- Ticket to the opera performance in the chosen category
- One month's free access to a premium classical music streaming service
- self‐guided audio tour of Verona in English


  • Verdi, Giuseppe – Nabucco
Program is subject to change

Cast / Production

Daniel Oren: 15 July
Alvise Casellati: 28 July 03, 17 August

Gianfranco de Bosio: 15, 28 July 03, 17 August

Set Design
Rinaldo Olivieri: 15, 28 July 03, 17 August

Amartuvshin Enkhbat: 15, 28 July
Roman Burdenko: 03 August
Luca Salsi: 17 August

Matteo Mezzaro: 15, 28 July
Riccardo Rados: 03, 17 August

Alexander Vinogradov: 15, 28 July
Rafał Siwek: 03, 17 August

Maria José Siri: 15 July 03, 17 August
Anna Pirozzi: 28 July

Josè Maria Lo Monaco: 15, 28 July
Marina Viotti: 03, 17 August

Il Gran Sacerdote di Belo
Romano Dal Zovo: 15, 28 July 03, 17 August

Riccardo Rados: 15, 28 July
Carlo Bosi: 03, 17 August

Elisabetta Zizzo: 15, 28 July
Elena Borin: 03, 17 August

Arena di Verona Orchestra, Choir and Technical team
Choirmaster: Ulisse Trabacchin

Customer Reviews

5.0 of 5

  • Changzhi G, 中国

    Sep 2014


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