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Opera Abbreviated: Nabucco

Marty Sohl/The Metropolitan Opera
Liudmyla Monastryska as Abigaille and Plácido Domingo in the title role of Verdi's Nabucco"

Giuseppe Verdi's Nabuccowill be transmitted live from the stage of The Metropolitan Opera in New York to movie theaters around the world at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7. James Levine conducts, with Plácido Domingo in the title role.

Here are some thoughts on Verdi's third opera, the work that brought the composer worldwide fame. Nabucco, based on episodes in the life of King Nebuchadnezzar II as told in the Old Testament, is celebrated today for its energetic score and the sublime "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves," Va, pensiero.

A note on the musical selections used in this podcast: I waned to capture the passion of this opera in performance. You're hearing Giangiacomo Guelfi, Elena Souliotis, Gloria Lane and Nicolai Ghiaurov from 1966 at La Scala in Milan. The conductor was Gianandrea Gavazzeni.

This is a terrific "get in there and fight" kind of performance, which works for Nabucco. Do not try this at home.

See you Saturday.

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.
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