Giuseppe Verdi


Company Premiere
Sept. 27, 29m, Oct. 2, 4, 6m, 2013 | Academy of Music
Opera at the Academy

An ancient story. A revolutionary telling.

On its surface, Nabucco is about the epic struggle of Zaccaria and the Jews suppressed by Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar and his vengeful daughter, Abigaille. But to Italians fighting for their freedom from Austria, Verdi’s first great opera was an inspiring call to arms. In an unprecedented spectacle, Opera Philadelphia produces this beloved biblical tale with a slight twist: while the classical story unfolds on stage, 19th century opera goers join the modern day audience. The result? An exhilarating opera-within-an-opera as the Academy transforms into La Scala to thrill all involved, especially with “Va, pensiero (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves),” adopted as Italy’s unofficial national anthem shortly after Nabucco’s premiere. This galvanizing, must-see production pays royal tribute to Verdi's 200th birthday and the Year of Italian Culture in the United States.


Academy of Music
240 S Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Performance Schedule:

Friday, September 27, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 4, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.

Estimated Running Time:

Approximately three hours, including one 20-minute and one 15-minute intermission


Performed in Italian with English supertitles

Production underwritten by Mrs. John P. Mulroney

Company Premiere
New co-production with Washington National Opera and Minnesota Opera


Audio excerpts from Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco (EMI 5099945644726; Riccardo Muti, conductor). Featuring Matteo Manuguerra, Renata Scotto and the Ambrosian Opera Chorus. Excerpts include the opera’s passionate opening chorus, “Gli arredi festivi giù cadano infranti” (Let the festive adornments be cast down and shattered), Abigaille’s bel canto influenced “Anch'io dischuiso un giorno” (I, too, once opened my heart to joy); the passionate confrontation duet between Abigaille and Nabucco “Deh, perdona” (Oh, forgive, oh, pardon); and ending with the beloved hymn of the Hebrew slaves “Va, pensiero, sull’ali dorate” (Go, my thought, on golden wings). Selections courtesy of EMI Classics. For more information or to purchase this recording, go to