In honor of the Verdi bicentennial, this week's broadcast features Nabucco from London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. The production, recorded last season, features Placido Domingo, reinventing himself as a baritone for his first-ever performance in the opera's title role.
Nabucco is Giuseppe Verdi's first hit opera that almost never was. The composer was ready to give up on music after a failed second opera and a series of personal tragedies when he happened to meet La Scala opera house impresario Bartolomeo Merelli on the streets of Milan. Merelli, libretto in hand, convinced Verdi to compose the opera. Nabucco became a major success and cemented Verdi's renown as a composer.
Nicola Luisotti, conductor
Nabucco: Placido Domingo (baritone)
Abigaille: Liudmyla Monastyrska (soprano)
Ismaele: Andrea Caré (tenor)
Fenena: Marianna Pizzolato (mezzo-soprano)
Zaccaria: Vitaly Kovaoyov (bass)
High Priest of Baal: Robert Lloyd (bass)
Anna: Dusica Bijelic (soprano)
Abdallo: David Butt Philip (tenor)
Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus