Opera in four acts
Libretto: Temistocle Solera after the drama by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornue
World premiere: 9 March 1842, Regio Teatro alla Scala, Milan
Warsaw premiere: 25 February 1854, Teatr Wielki
Premiere of this production: 26 June 1992
In the original Italian with Polish surtitles
Nabucco, one of the earliest operas by Verdi, has invariably enjoyed enormous popularity among audiences practically from its world premiere in 1842. Undoubtedly this success can be partly attributed to the four-minute chorus of Jewish slaves, Va, pensiero — one of the most famous pieces of choral operatic music of all time. Few people realize that it is a fragment loaded with momentous significance. The slaves sing in it of a hope of regaining their freedom in unison and not, as usual, divided into four voices. What is more, this unison becomes gradually and suggestively more and more powerful, symbolizing the cementing of solidarity of the Semitic community. This is why in mid-nineteenth century Va, pensiero was treated by Italians as an unofficial hymn of all the political powers striving towards the unification of Italy.
Marek Weiss-Grzesiński’s staging has been in Teatr Wielki’s repertoire for almost a quarter century. Is it not too long? Has the aesthetic of this show grown old? Even if indeed it is so, it should nevertheless be a compulsory show to view for every educated Pole.
Partners of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera
Media patrons of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera