Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901)

18:00 - 20:45
B-Prices: € 86,00 / € 66,00 / € 44,00 / € 26,00 / € 20,00
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Information about the work

Dramma lirico in four parts
Libretto by Temistocle Solera
First performed on 9. March, 1842 at Milan
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 8. September, 2013

2 hrs 45 mins / 1 interval

In Italian language with German and English surtitles

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance

recommended from 14 years
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Kindly supported by Förderkreis der Deutschen Oper Berlin e. V.

18:00 - 20:45
B-Prices: € 86,00 / € 66,00 / € 44,00 / € 26,00 / € 20,00
Buy tickets
the content

About the work
Giuseppe Verdi’s third opera was his break-out work. By the end of the gestation of NABUCCO the 29-year-old had found his musical style, one that audiences latched onto immediately. It was first and foremost the sheer impact of the chorus scenes and the daringly loud orchestral movements that announced a new chapter in the history of opera. NABUCCO was the first opera to make the chorus one of the main protagonists and the material was ideal for this, with the liberation of the Israelites from Babylonian captivity providing ample occasion for crowd scenes conveying the yearnings and stirrings of an oppressed people. And to top it all, it was not an aria but the “Va, pensiero” Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, sung by the Jewish deportees on the banks of the Euphrates, that became the best known number in the opera – and the most famous Verdi tune of all.

Aside from this NABUCCO reveals Verdi’s feel for situations that lend themselves to being staged and his predilection for eccentric characters. NABUCCO is namely not simply an opera with choral sections; it is also a drama about the disintegration of a family in the form of half-sisters Fenena and Abigaille, who are polar opposites, and their father Nabucco, the authoritarian patriarch [Engl.: Nebuchadnezzar]. On the one hand we have Fenena, who is in love with Ismaele, a Jewish prince, and has converted to Judaism. Meanwhile a jealous Abigaille is scheming to usurp the throne of her father. In a fit of megalomania, Nabucco declares himself an earthly king but also a god, upon which God strikes him down and he becomes crazed and incoherent. Abigaille seizes her chance, crowns herself queen with the support of the army and has her father arrested.

While in jail, Nabucco hears that Abigaille has resolved to have her sister Fenena executed. He regains his reason and beseeches the Jews’ own god to help him. Freed, he gathers his troops, rescues Ferena and sets the Israelites free.

About the production
This dramatic tale beginning with the Israelites’ captivity in Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar is one of Verdi’s most popular operas. Hans Neuenfels’s controversial production in 2000 was the last time that the work has been mounted at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In 2013, the bicentenary of Verdi’s birth, Keith Warner, a leading light in the international opera community, presented his version of the opera, referencing the period in which it was written, a time of transition from feudalism to an industrialised society. Warner focuses on the differences between the two nations: the Hebrews with their writing system and a culture of democratised education, and the militaristic Babylonians with their concept of power wielded by an autocratic ruler.

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Advents-Verlosung: Das 2. Fensterchen

In today's Advent calendar window, we are giving away 3 DVDs of "Der Schatzgräber" - an opera in a prelude, four acts and a postlude by Franz Schreker. If you would like to win one of the three DVDs, please send an e-mail today with the subject "The 2nd window" to

DER SCHATZGRÄBER (THE TREASURE HUNTER) by Franz Schreker was a triumph at its world premiere in Frankfurt in 1920 and went on to play 44 times at assorted venues over the next five years. It then fell victim to a shifting zeitgeist and slipped from opera-house programmes, with a National Socialist ban on performances sealing its demise. Even after 1945 the Schreker revival was a long time coming – and THE TREASURE HUNTER has not featured prominently in the renaissance.

As with the vast majority of Schreker’s libretti, the story of Els and Elis explores the relationship between fantasy and reality, between art and life. Soulmates in the sense that they are both at the mercy of the king’s disposition, Els and Elis set off in search of different treasures. Elis, the minstrel, uses his magic lute to locate a stash of jewels and do humanity a good turn. Els, an innkeeper’s daughter who has grown up motherless in a tough, male-chauvinist world, becomes a liar, cheat and murderess in pursuit of her goal, tasking her suitors to steal the queen’s jewels and then having them killed once they have returned with the haul of treasure. Yet even with the gold in their possession, the pair are not content, and so, true to form, Schreker turns his attention to the theme of yearning per se, which is the actual “treasure” that the composer is interested in, “a dream of happiness and redemption”. Elis and Els are caught up in a swirl of dreams, memories, premonitions, songs and music. Their stories take on a dreamlike quality in a world beset by greed, murder and emotional inconstancy. For Franz Schreker the path to redemption could only be via art. Composed during the turmoil of the First World War, the TREASURE HUNTER score amounts to Schreker’s personal confession of artistic faith, executed in florid strokes of late-Romantic musical colour.

Conductor Marc Albrecht; Staging Christof Loy; Set design Johannes Leiacker; Costume design Barbara Drosihn; With Tuomas Pursio, Doke Pauwels, Clemens Bieber, Michael Adams, Joel Allison, Michael Laurenz, Thomas Johannes Mayer, Seth Carico, Daniel Johansson, Gideon Poppe, Stephen Bronk, Elisabet Strid, Patrick Cook, Tyler Zimmerman a. o.; Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

Closing date: 2 December 2023, the winners will be informed by email on 4 December 2023. The DVDs will then be sent by post. Legal recourse is excluded.