Nabucco, Verdi's Early Drama of Ancient Babylon, Returns to the Met

Verdi's early opera Nabucco will return to the Metropolitan Opera beginning today for a run of 12 performances. Željko Luiwill make his house role debut as Nabucco (the biblical King Nebuchadnezzar), opposite Maria Guleghina as the ambitious Abigaille, who schemes her way to the throne of ancient Babylon.

Rising tenor Yonghoon Lee will sing his first Met performances of Ismaele, a prince of Jerusalem who is pursued by Abigaille but in love with her sister Fenena (sung by Lindemann Young Artist Development Program artist Renée Tatum). Italian bass Carlo Colombara sings Zaccaria, the High Priest of the Jews, who encourages his enslaved people to keep their dreams of freedom alive. The opera, Verdi's first major success, was last heard at the Met in the 2004-05 season, and is best-known for the famous choral highlight "Va, pensiero," in which the Hebrew slaves long to return to their homeland. Paolo Carignani will conduct all 12 performances of the opera, which will be seen in a revival of Elijah Moshinsky's grand staging.

Lu?i? has sung many Verdi baritone roles at the Met to critical acclaim, including the title role in the 2007 new production premiere of Macbeth, Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, and, last season, the title role in Rigoletto. Guleghina brought her powerhouse interpretation of Abigaille to the Met in the 2001 premiere of Moshinsky's production, and she repeated the role in the Met's 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. At the Met, she has sung many of the most challenging roles in the soprano repertoire, including Maddalena in Andrea Chénier, Lisa in The Queen of Spades, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, and the title roles in Tosca, Aida, and Turandot. Lee made his debut in the title role of Don Carlo last season and repeated his admired interpretation of the character on the Met's Japan tour in June 2011. Carignani led performances of Verdi's La Traviata in the 2008-09 season and Aida in the 2009-10 season.

Mezzo-soprano Marianne Cornetti, heard last season as Azucena in Il Trovatore, will sing Abigaille on November 5, 9, and 12, and Elisabete Matos, who made a notable Met debut in the title role of La Fanciulla del West last season, will sing the role on November 17. Elizabeth Bishop, who sang the title role in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride at the Met last season, will sing Fenena for all November performances of Nabucco. Adam Diegel, who sang Froh in the new production premiere of Robert Lepage's staging of Das Rheingold, will sing Ismaele on November 5, 9, and 12. Russian bass Dmitry Belosselskiy makes his Met debut as Zaccaria on November 5 and repeats the role on November 9 and 12.

Live Broadcasts
The opening night performance of Nabucco on September 27 will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 74, as will the performances on October 5 and 12 and November 9 and 17. The October 5 performance will also be streamed live on the Met's website,

For More Information, Go to the Met's Web Site
For more information, including bios of the performers and production team, and general information about the Met season, please visit the Met's Web site at


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