Nabucco conquers St. Louis

Aug 01, 2018 414

BY: Steve Callahan

Verdi's Nabucco has opened at St. Louis' Union Avenue Opera, and it is a remarkably fine production. Of the many beautiful shows that this amazing small company has presented in its twenty-four seasons Nabucco is, perhaps, the most vocally gorgeous of all. This is due not only to the stellar quality of the principals, but also-and especially-to the quite wonderful work of the chorus. In this opera the chorus plays a starring role.

This was Verdi's third opera, his first great success, and the work which firmly established him in the heart of every Italian. He became, in a sense, the godfather of the Italian struggle for liberation and unified nationhood-the Risorgimento. The moving choral number in Act 3, "Va pensiero", in which the Hebrew slaves long for their homeland, became a kind of anthem for Italy.

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