Saturday, October 17, 2015

Day 143 Pittsburgh Opera, Nabucco

I have seen a few operas and each were  spectacular, larger than life productions but Nabucco was my first  Italian opera. It was composed by Verdi at the age of 28 years.  Opera is the perfect way to “Get some culture” as recommended by my blog inspiration, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book.”

I knew nothing about the subject of this opera but I wanted to hear an Italian one, thinking that my sporadic Italian lessons would help me understand the singing.  It did not- but  with the help of the subtitles across the top of the stage, the summary in the program, and the dramatic facial expressions of the actors, it was not hard to follow the story.  I was surprised that it was the biblical story of the Babylonian conqueror and exile of the  Israelites from  Jerusalem. The story was loosely based on the Bible book of Jeremiah.
Nabucco destroys the Temple of Solomon

As in most operas, there were conflicts, struggles, a  love triangle and this one ended in the unity of  the Babylonians and the Israelites praising God. In Part I the Israelites are praying to God to defeat the Babylonian King, Nabucco (in English Nebuhadnessar), who is attacking the city. Nabucco eventually storms into the Jewish temple of Solomon to find his daughter (Fenena) captive by the Israelites.  Fenena and her half-sister (Abigaille) are both in love with the a royal  Israelite (Ismaele). Ismaele  loves only Fernena and frees her. Then  Nabucco  destroys the Jewish temple in a dramatic fire. (You get the picture- a lot of drama  linked to the music.) 

The conflict continues, when  Abigille  crowns herself queen of Babylonia while her  father is at war.  She plans to kill her sister Fenena and the enslaved Israelites. In the meantime, Fenena converts.  When Nabucco comes back he is imprisoned by his daughter but eventually regains his throne, saves  Fenena, converts, and frees the Israelites.   
Both of us are trying to learn Italian

The symphony music was beautiful  and the singing contained a  powerful chorus which were the enslaved Jews. The  soprano, Abigille was so strong, filling the theater with high pitch melodies and thrills.  The scenery was larger than life and there was just so much drama and feeling  in this opera. I am not an expert,  but you have to admire the musical tallent.

Opera is worth a try. You will  get a little culture and a lot of drama all wrapped up together! I hope to see another show soon (Pittsburgh Opera schedule). (Opera review)

Spiritual Reflection
The Lord gave Jeremiah the prophet this message concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians. This is what the Lord says,"Tell the whole world, and keep nothing back! Raise a signal flag so everyone will know that Babylon will fall! "(Jeremiah 50:1 and 2)

Other sources
Pittsburgh Opera