An amazing work by a 29-year-old, only third on the long list of Verdi’s operatic achievements, and not even counted among his greatest accomplishments. Though it is a piece strongly reliant on the model of Italian bel canto, which Verdi with his brilliant intuition was soon to overcome, Nabucco is only less popular than three huge hits by this composer: La Traviata, Rigoletto and Aida, while coming a very high 18th on the list of the world’s most often staged operas (according to Operabase). This massive success of Nabucco practically stems from one, just four-minute fragment – the most famous chorus in opera’s history – "Va, pensiero". Intoned against the background of a conventionally simplified orchestral accompaniment, thanks to its moving melody that is sung – unusually for a chorus, though extremely symbolic – in one voice (in unison), this song of Hebrew slaves quickly became the unofficial anthem of the Italians. Marek Weiss’s clever staging, embedded in a hieratic space created by the greatest talent in the history of Polish opera design, the late Andrzej Kreutz Majewski, has been performed in Warsaw for over 22 years and invariably draws crowds of admirers hungry for beautiful singing backed by equally attractive tableaux.