Nabucco - Prague State Opera Theatre

Nabucco (1842), Giuseppe Verdi’s third opera, was an immediate success. Yet it very nearly did not originate: the premiere of his second – comic – opera Un giorno di regno (A One-Day Reign) in 1840 was such a flop that the composer, heartbroken from the death of his wife Margherita, wanted to abandon his career as an opera creator. Only with difficulty did the impresario of Milan’s La Scala, Bartolomeo Merelli, persuade the less than thirty-year-old Verdi to set to music Temistocle Solera’s libretto treating an Old Testament theme. Under the command of Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar), the Babylonians conquer Jerusalem, destroy the Temple of Solomon and subjugate the Jewish people. 


Nabucco, who is punished with madness by Jehovah, has to face machinations on the part of his supposed daughter, Abigaille. He ultimately admits his error and Jehovah’s power and gives the Jews back their freedom. The most impressive aspect of the opera is the mass scenes, one of which, the Chorus of Hebrew Slaves “Va, pensiero, sull’alli dorate” (Fly, thought, upon gilded wings) in Act 3, at the time became the expression of the Italian nation’s desire for independence and – together with the Triumph March from Verdi’s Aida – is among the most famous opera melodies there is. The premiere took place on 9 March 1842 at La Scala with Verdi’s second wife, Giuseppina Strepponi, in the role of Abigaille.



The opera is staged in Italian original version and Czech and English surtitles are used in the performance.



Photo: Greenberg, Josef Ptáček, Jan Kačír



Duration of the performance: 2 hours and 15 minutes, 1 intermission

Program and cast

Buy tickets
March 2019 Next
Photo gallery

Prague State Opera

The State Opera today

 

The State Opera (formerly the State Opera Prague, between 1948 and 1992 the Smetana Theatre, and originally the New German Theatre) has been a part of the National Theatre since 2012. The Opera and Ballet ensembles give repertory performances at the State Opera.

 

History

 

The Prague State Opera resides in the building which on January 5, 1888 was opened as a Prague German stage with the performance of Wagner’s opera, The Mastersingers of Nürnberg. In the 19th century, Prague Germans performed in the Estate’s Theater in alternation with a Czech company. Desire for their own theater led to negotiations in 1883 for the construction of a new theater building for the German Theater Association. Over the next three years, a blueprint was drawn up and handed over to the Vienna atelier of Fellner and Hellmer. Also sharing in the design was the architect of the Vienna Municipal Theater, Karl Hasenauer, while Prague architect Alfons Wertmüller took part in the construction. Financing came from private collections. With its spacious auditorium and neo-Rococo decoration, this theater building is among the most beautiful in Europe.

 

Access:

 

By car

On Wilsonova street, from the left lane close to the State Opera building take the slip road to the Slovan above-ground garage. The parking fee is 40 CZK/h.

 

By tram

 

By daytime tram No. 11 to the stop “Muzeum”, through the underpass beneath Legerova street in the direction of the NationalMuseum, at the crossroads turn right along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.

 

By daytime trams Nos. 3, 9, 14 and 24 or night trams Nos. 51, 52, 54, 55, 56 and 58 to the stop “Václavské náměstí”, then by foot uphill on the left side of the Wenceslas Square to the traffic lights across Wilsonova and Vinohradská streets. Then turn left along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.

 

By metro

To the “Muzeum” station, lines A and C (green and red), and then by foot along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.

Related events