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NABUCCO S A T . 09 / 28 / 13 6:00 pre-show 7:00 broadcast

ALL FOR OPER A. OPER A FOR ALL. Opening night broadcast

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Open-air seating

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Open to all

I N D E P E N D E N C E N AT I O N A L H I S T O R I C A L PA R K Verdi’s epic tale of liberation feels right at home in Old City.

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Photos by Chris Sembrot

Made possible through the generous support of the William Penn Foundation and the Wyncote Foundation

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Photos by Chris Sembrot

T H I S I S W H AT M A K E S P H I L A D E L P H I A G R E AT Only in our city could we gather together

Nabucco), who conquered Jerusalem and

to enjoy a landmark Italian opera about the

exiled the Jews in the sixth century BC. But,

struggle for independence while surrounded

when it debuted in 1842, the Italians identified

by the physical landmarks of our own nation’s

the captivity of the Israelites in the opera

successful bid for independence.

with their own dominance by Austrian rule.

Tonight, as we are surrounded by Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, Opera Philadelphia presents a free, open-air broadcast of Nabucco, the first great opera by Giuseppe Verdi (Rigoletto, La traviata, Aida). This marks our third year of Opera on the Mall, and the themes of Nabucco seem tailor-made for Independence National Historical Park. On its surface, the opera is about the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar (or

The patriotic chorus “Va, pensiero” quickly became a national anthem of sorts, and Verdi involuntarily became a leading figure in the movement toward a free, united Italy. His personal hero was George Washington, America’s first President whose connection to our city – he presided over the constitutional

Mayor Michael Nutter, Independence National Historical Park Superintendent Cynthia MacLeod and Opera Philadelphia General Director David B. Devan. Photo by Kelly & Massa

convention at Independence Hall – is legendary. I want to hear from you tonight as you enjoy

David B. Devan

the broadcast. Tweet us @OperaPhila and me

General Director & President

@ddevan using the hashtag #onthemall.

Opera Philadelphia

YOUR GUIDE TO OPERA ON THE MALL

C E L E B R AT I N G

Ve r d i ’s N A B U C C O | S a t u r d a y, S e p t . 2 8 Independence National Historical Park P E R F O R M E D I N I TA L I A N W I T H E N G L I S H S U B T I T L E S

OF GIUSEPPE VERDI

SC HED UL E 5:30 6:00 7:00 8:20 9:45

p.m.: p.m.: p.m.: p.m.: p.m.:

20 0 Y E A R S

Gates open Pre-show with cast interviews Performance begins Intermission (10 minutes) Performance ends

• Video interviews with cast and crew of Nabucco

was a complete failure. The

of the most influential

never to compose again until

his birth, we celebrate one

E N JOY IN G THE BROADCAST

PRE-SHOW ACTIVITIES

Two hundred years after

• Bring your blankets and beach chairs

• Nabucco crowns made from balloons for the kid in all of us (while supplies last)

• Picnic dinners encouraged

• Share your Instagram photos #onthemall

• Dogs must be kept on leashes at all times

Low-slung preferred

• Food trucks on 5th Street, between Market and Chestnut

composers of the nineteenth century, Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901). As 2013

marks his bicentennial,

the operatic world honors his contributions and

achievements with hundreds of performances worldwide. By the time he was 40,

Verdi was the most famous and most frequently

performed Italian opera

Independence Visitor Center

despondent Verdi resolved the maestro at La Scala,

Bartolomeo Merelli, forced the libretto for Nabucco on him. He was deeply moved by the Biblical story and

the opera premiered two

years later in 1842. Nabucco

enjoyed glorious success and carried Verdi’s reputation across Italy, Europe, and the New World.

composer in Europe. But

if not for Nabucco, he might

have turned away from opera

Market Street

permanently while still in his late 20s. 5th Street

6th Street

President’s House Site

Liberty Bell Center

In November of 1839 Verdi’s first opera, Oberto, conte di

San Bonifacio, was accepted at La Scala. It ran for

multiple performances and

i

was well received, winning

Chestnut Street

Independence Hall

him a contract for three

LOCATIONS

i

the composer’s wife, INFORMATION AND FIRST AID

children all died shortly after the premiere, and as a result Verdi’s second opera, the

RESTROOMS

National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome.

additional operas. Tragically, Margherita, and two young

ENTRANCE

Portrait of Giuseppe Verdi by Giovanni Boldini.

VIDEO SCREEN

comedic Un giorno di regno,

LEARN MORE ABOUT VERDI

THE STORY OF NABUCCO Fr o m t h e Te m p l e o f S o l o m o n t o t h e H a n g i n g G a rd e n s o f B a by l o n a n d t h e b a n k s o f t h e E u p h r a t e s R i v e r, w i t n e s s t h e e p i c s t r u g g l e o f a roy a l f a m i l y a t o d d s w i t h t h e i r n a t i o n a n d e a c h o t h e r, b a t t l i n g f o r p o w e r a m o n g t h e l o s t w o n d e r s o f t h e w o r l d !

WITNESS THE EPIC S T R U G G L E O F A R O YA L FA M I L Y AT O D D S W I T H T H E I R N AT I O N AND EACH OTHER The Hebrews are mustering

interrupted when Abigaille,

in battle? Can the Hebrew

their strength to resist the

Fenena’s older sister,

exiles, who long for their

fearsome Nabucco

infiltrates the temple. She

beloved homeland, break

(Nebuchadnezzar), king of

confesses her own love for

the chains of their captivity

Assyria, who has attacked

him, and implies that she has

and strike back against

their city. Zaccaria, the

the power to call a truce and

their oppressors? And what

Hebrews’ spiritual leader,

liberate his people, if only

happens when Nabucco

has kidnapped Nabucco’s

he will return her affection.

turns up very much alive?

daughter, Fenena, in an

If not, the Hebrews will be

Is it all real, or is someone

effort to end the siege. This

condemned to death.

trapped in a nightmare?

reunites her with her former

Which princess will Ismaele

lover Ismaele, nephew of

choose? Who will wear the

the king of Jerusalem and

royal crown when the High

a Hebrew military leader.

Priest of Baal announces that

Their romantic reunion is

Nabucco has been killed

Read full Nabucco synopsis

Nabucco production photos by Scott Suchman for Washington National Opera

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MEET THE CAST OF NABUCCO

NABUCCO Sebastian Catana* Baritone

ABIGAILLE Csilla Boross* Soprano

ZACCARIA Morris Robinson Bass

ISMAELE Adam Diegel* Tenor FENENA Margaret Mezzacappa Mezzo-soprano

HIGH PRIEST OF BAAL Musa Ngqungwana* Bass-baritone ANNA Angela Mortellaro Soprano

Costume designs by Mattie Ullrich; Set renderings by Thaddeus Strassberger

NABUCCO’S COLORF UL COSTUMES AND SETS Thaddeus Strassberger’s Nabucco was heavily influenced by a year the director/designer spent as a visiting artist at Milan’s La Scala opera house, where Nabucco premiered to much fanfare in 1842. There, he researched the original designs from the opera’s world premiere, and he created hand-painted backdrops for his Nabucco in that original style.

ABDALLO John Viscardi Tenor

Nabucco is a big opera featuring a big cast of more than 100 singers. In order to dress those singers, the production required the creation of more than 250 separate costumes. To design all

C R E AT I V E T E A M CONDUCTOR / Corrado Rovaris DIRECTOR & SET DESIGN / Thaddeus Strassberger* COSTUME DESIGN / Mattie Ullrich* ORIGINAL LIGHTING DESIGN / Mark McCullough* LIGHTING DESIGN / JAX Messenger*

of those costumes, Strassberger turned to someone with whom he had collaborated on ten previous operas. Mattie Ullrich has designed cutting edge costumes for opera, film, theater, musicals, dance, television and print. Having won awards on previous collaborations, the pair

CHORUS MASTER / Elizabeth Braden

went to work to create the distinctive looks for the Babylonian

*Opera Philadelphia debut

royalty, the Hebrew refugees, the Austrian opera patrons, and

P E R F O R M E D I N I TA L I A N W I T H E N G L I S H S U B T I T L E S Company Premiere New co-production with Washington National Opera and The Minnesota Opera Production underwritten by Mrs. John P. Mulroney

the many other characters. “I rely on the costume designer not only to figure out what the clothes are but to help me figure out who the characters really are,” Strassberger says. “That goes much deeper than just what they are wearing.”

How Nabucco turned Verdi into

I T A LY ’ S M U S I C A L C O N S C I E N C E Verdi’s Nabucco is perhaps best known

from their forced labor along the banks

rule. The chorus became the underground

for “Va, pensiero (The Chorus of the

of the river, the Hebrew exiles bid their

revolutionary song for the Liberal Party,

Hebrew Slaves),” which attained both

plaintive thoughts to fly “on golden wings”

and the composer’s name became

musical and political significance when

toward their beloved homeland. Legend

V.E.R.D.I., a slogan meaning Vittorio

the opera premiered in 1842.

has it that those early audiences demanded

Emanuele Re D’Italia (Victor Emmanuel

At the point in the opera when

an encore of “Va, pensiero” at Teatro alla

King of Italy), a reference to the sole native

“Va pensiero” is sung, the Hebrews are

Scala in Milan.

dynasty in Italy and the focus of nationalist

being held captive in Babylon. The

“Va, pensiero” became the Italians’

hopes for unity. The phrase was scrolled

Babylonians have threatened to kill them,

song of liberation, for, in the oppressed

which sparks an argument between the

Hebrews, they found a symbol of their

High Priest of Baal, Abigaille, and King

own longing for Risorgimento (resurgence

Nabucco. Taking a moment of respite

or reunification) and an end to Austrian

on walls and spoken in public gatherings as a buzz-word openly expressing defiance of the occupying foreign powers.

Singalong to

VA , P E N S I E R O

Italian

/

Va, pensiero, sull’ali dorate; va, ti posa sui clivi, sui colli, ove olezzano tepide e molli l’aure dolci del suolo natal!

Translation in English

C H O R U S O F T H E H E B R E W S L AV E S

Fly, thought, on wings of gold; go settle upon the slopes and the hills, where, soft and mild, the sweet airs of our native land smell fragrant!

Del Giordano le rive saluta, di Sionne le torri atterrate... O, mia patria, sì bella e perduta! O, membranza, sì cara e fatal!

Greet the banks of the Jordan and Zion’s toppled towers... Oh, my country, so beautiful and lost! Oh, remembrance, so dear and so fatal!

Arpa d’or dei fatidici vati, perché muta dal salice pendi? Le memorie nel petto raccendi, ci favella del tempo che fu!

Golden harp of the prophetic seers, why dost thou hang mute upon the willow? Rekindle our bosom’s memories, and speak to us of times gone by!

O simile di Sòlima ai fati traggi un suono di crudo lamento, o t’ispiri il Signore un concento che ne infonda al patire virtù.

Mindful of the fate of Jerusalem, give forth a sound of crude lamentation, or may the Lord inspire you a harmony of voices which may instill virtue to suffering.

The Nabucco chorus performing “Va, pensiero.” Photo by: Scott Suchman for Washington National Opera.

S VA D B A WEDDING

E AT, D R I N K, AN D BE M AR R I E D

AMERICAN PREMIERE

P e r f o r m e d i n S e r bi an wit h Eng l i s h s u pe r t i t l e s

— PRESENTED BY —

N O V. 2 , 3 , 6 , 7 , 2 0 1 3 AT F R I N G E A RT S Tickets at FringeArts.com | 215.413.1318

— PRODUCTION FROM —

QUEEN OF PUDDINGS M U S I C T H E AT R E

Ph o t o: J o h n La u e n e r

COMING IN NOVEMBER: Opera Philadelphia Launches Opera in the City series with American Premiere of Svadba-Wedding Are you enjoying tonight’s opera

(Shannon Mercer, Laura Albino,

audiences an immersive operatic

experience outside of a traditional

Virginia Hatfield, Andrea Ludwig,

experience, as ticketholders will

opera house? If so, then you’ll want

and Krisztina Szabó) prepare for

join in an authentic Balkan wedding

to check out Opera Philadelphia’s new

her marriage in a raucous and

celebration after the performance,

series Opera in the City, which brings

intoxicating a cappella tour de

featuring traditional cuisine and live

the art form into the community in new

force. Opera News called the work

Balkan dance music from the West

and exciting ways.

“dazzlingly inventive,” enthusiastically

Philadelphia Orchestra.

endorsing the opera as “a piece

The one-hour opera and its

The series will launch in November with the American Premiere of composer Ana Sokolovic´‘s renowned Svadba–Wedding, in collaboration with FringeArts. On the night before

to appeal not just to new music enthusiasts but to those interested in the wider possibilities of music theatre in general.”

her wedding, Milica (Jacqueline

The production, funded in part by

Woodley) and her five girlfriends

the Knight Foundation, will offer

accompanying 90-minute wedding reception will be presented at the new home of FringeArts, at the corner of Race Street and Columbus Boulevard.

D AV I D B . D E VA N GENERAL DIRECTOR & PRESIDENT C O R R A D O R O VA R I S JACK MULRONEY MUSIC DIRECTOR

S VA D B A WEDDING

S O K O L O V I C´

GOLIJOV

Presented with FringeArts

“ F o u n t a i n o f Te a r s ” FEB. 7–16, 2014 ACADEMY OF MUSIC

S VA D B A WEDDING

N O V. 2 – 7 , 2 0 1 3 OPERA IN THE CITY AT F R I N G E A R T S

MOZART

D O N G I O VA N N I A P R . 2 5 – M AY 4 , 2 0 1 4 ACADEMY OF MUSIC

C U R T I S O P E R A T H E AT R E

AINADAMAR

POULENC

DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES In association with Opera Philadelphia and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

MAR. 5–9, 2014 P E R E L M A N T H E AT E R

STRAUSS

GORDON / FOGLIA

SALOME

Produced by The Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia

M AY 8 & 1 0 , 2 0 1 4 VERIZON HALL

A COFFIN IN EGYPT

JUN. 6–15, 2014 P E R E L M A N T H E AT E R

The Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater is underwritten by the Wyncote Foundation

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Opera on the Mall: NABUCCO Program | Opera Philadelphia