Verdi Opera Nabucco

Classical Music / Opera Datebook: March 9

Giuseppe Verdi's Opera Nabucco Premieres

Nabucco (English Nebuchadnezzar), is an Italian opera in four acts composed by Giuseppe Verdi in 1841 to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera.  It is based on Biblical stories from the Books of Jeremiah and Daniel. Under its original name of Nabucodonosor, the opera was first performed at La Scala in Milan on 9 March 1842.

The opera Nabucco is considered to have permanently established Verdi's reputation as a composer. He commented that "this is the opera with which my artistic career really begins. And though I had many difficulties to fight against, it is certain that Nabucco was born under a lucky star."

The story follows the plight of the Jews as they were conquered and subsequently exiled from their homeland by the Babylonian King Nabucco (in English: Nebuchadnessar II). The opera used historical events for a romantic and political plot.  The best-known and  popular music from the opera is the "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves", "Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate / "Fly, thought, on golden wings", a chorus which is regularly given an encore in many performances.

Video Credits:

Nabucco Hebrew Slaves Chorus. Youtube, uploaded by wmalazcia.  Accessed March 9, 2016. 


Budden, Julian (1973),  The Operas of Verdi, Volume 1. London: Cassell Ltd, 1973.
Martin, Nicholas Ivor (1997), The Da Capo Opera Manual. New York: Da Capo Press, 1997.

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