Nabucco is Verdi’s
1841 opera about the
Babylonian king
Nebuchadnezzar, who
reigned from 634 to
562 B.C. It was
Verdi’s 3r...
The Ishtar Gate was one of
the entrances to the city
and would be used for
triumphant victory marches
bringing back slaves...
The gate is made of
beautiful blue
ceramic bricks and is
in perfect condition.
Babyon was also
famous as the site the
Hang...
All of these splendors of
Babylon, like the ziggurat,
were lost on the Hebrew
slaves - who just wanted
to go home to Israe...
Nebuchadnezzar was famous, from the bible, for some other things
that are not included in the opera. At a royal feast he w...
On a different
occasion king
Nebuchadnezzar had
a disturbing dream.
He demanded that
his many wise men
interpret it for hi...
of 6

Nabucco opera email

One of a series of short intros to several operas by Verdi
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Education      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Nabucco opera email

  • 1. Nabucco is Verdi’s 1841 opera about the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned from 634 to 562 B.C. It was Verdi’s 3rd opera and his first big success. Part of the information we have about this famous historical king comes from the bible, in the Book of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar lived in great splendor and created the famous Ishtar Gate. Babylon was a great city and it had several gates that gave entrance to the city. The Pergamon Museum in Berlin has the actual gate, not a replica.
  • 2. The Ishtar Gate was one of the entrances to the city and would be used for triumphant victory marches bringing back slaves and loot from various military campaigns. Nebuchadnezzar sacked Jerusalem and brought back many Hebrew slaves, into what is known by Jews as the Babylonian Captivity. The Hebrew slaves would have been marched through this actual gate into Bablyon, 2500 years ago. With them was some captured loot from Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem, maybe including the Ark of the Covenant.
  • 3. The gate is made of beautiful blue ceramic bricks and is in perfect condition. Babyon was also famous as the site the Hanging Gardens, one of the 7 Wonders of the ancient world. These have not survived. Babylon was really the “it” place to be back then. It was the supposed site of the biblical Tower of Babel, which artists have imagined. That may have been based on the actual Ziggurat which did exist and was 300 feet tall. Alexander the Great destroyed it, intending to build a bigger one.
  • 4. All of these splendors of Babylon, like the ziggurat, were lost on the Hebrew slaves - who just wanted to go home to Israel. The 137th Psalm says: By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst thereof we hanged up our harps. For there they that led us captive asked of us words of song, and our tormentors asked of us mirth: “Sing us one of the songs of Zion” How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; If I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy. This is the setting of Verdi’s opera Nabucco. In the bible account (Book of Daniel 4:33) Nebuchanezzar has a spell of temporary insanity and eats grass like a cow. This spell of insanity is key in the opera’s plot.
  • 5. Nebuchadnezzar was famous, from the bible, for some other things that are not included in the opera. At a royal feast he was startled to suddenly see a disembodied hand materialize and write a cryptic four word message on the wall. Daniel interpreted the baffling message (“Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin”) to the king and told him that it signaled his imminent demise. That is where we get the expression and bad meaning of “seeing the handwriting on the wall” Rembrandt painting of this story
  • 6. On a different occasion king Nebuchadnezzar had a disturbing dream. He demanded that his many wise men interpret it for him, or be killed, but he refused to tell them the dream! Daniel took on this impossible challenge. Daniel prayed for divine guidance and then he went to sleep. He then had a dream and in his dream the king’s dream was revealed as well as its correct interpretation.