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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avanti!
Nabucco has a superb cast - Renato Bruson as Nabucco, Dimitrova as Abigaille, D'Artegna as the High Priest, but it is the chorus which really grabs me by the throat. The singing of the "Va pensiero" is sublime. My interest in opera was awoken by the BBC's recent Opera week but nothing could have prepared me for that moment. I was moved to tears. Visually and vocally...
Published on 3 July 2010 by Basil

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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Puzzled
This opera starts off with a musical piece that sounds like Mozart's Dies Irae. Then, when people are talking about dire and really important things it goes all sing along (the opposite to a modern film where the music will try and match the event/conversation). Furthermore, the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves sounds like some sort of rallying German theme tune...
Published on 17 Jun 2012 by Sally Burdyke


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avanti!, 3 July 2010
This review is from: Nabucco [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Nabucco has a superb cast - Renato Bruson as Nabucco, Dimitrova as Abigaille, D'Artegna as the High Priest, but it is the chorus which really grabs me by the throat. The singing of the "Va pensiero" is sublime. My interest in opera was awoken by the BBC's recent Opera week but nothing could have prepared me for that moment. I was moved to tears. Visually and vocally this recording is first class.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abigaille (Ghena Dimitrova) is my Hero.., 9 Jun 2014
By 
H. A. Weedon "Mouser" (North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nabucco [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This recording, which is getting on a bit now, was recorded at Verona in the huge open-air Roman arena, which provides a spectacular setting for this popular Verdi epic from 1842. Restless under Austrian rule, the northern Italians identified with the exiled Hebrews in the opera, in which the chorus of the Hebrew slaves reflected their own desires to be free from being ruled over by a foreign power.

Nearly all the characters in this work are fictitious and the storyline bears little or no relationship to historical fact except that the Hebrews did go into exile. Although Nebuchadnezzar (Nabucco) was an historical person his depiction in this work is very inaccurate, out of the correct period and muddled up in a confusion between Assyrians and Babylonians.

Act 1 is staged in the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem and begins with the entrance of the High Priest Zaccaria, excellently portrayed and sung by Dimiter Petrov. I took an instant dislike to this sanctimonious old twit of a character and couldn't help wondering if Verdi, who was noted for his contempt for religious casuistry, had deliberately made him like that. Eventually Nabucco comes along with his army and orders the destruction of the temple.

In Act II Abigaille is revealed as having been an illegitimate daughter of Nabucco and the child of a slave girl. From the moment she comes on stage this character, breathtakingly portrayed by Ghena Dimatrova, reveals herself as the strongest character in the opera. For a time everything goes right for her and she works her way into becoming ruler of the kingdom. I'm so pleased at this outcome that I always want her to remain in charge of everything and everybody to the end of her days and am very disappointed when she poisons herself in typical Verdian fashion at the end of the opera and the bunch of spineless twits triumphs.

To complicate matters, Abigaille is in love with Hebrew warrior Ismaele, but he loves Abigalle's sister Fenena, who has been captured by the Hebrews and has converted to their religion. Unfortunately, Ismaele has no proper appreciation of true womanhood which is why he prefers the insipid Fenena.

In the meantime Nabucco manages to get himself into a complete muddle by first cursing Jehovah and then relenting and going against Abigaille who has taken charge of everything. In the end the courageous Abigaille is overcome by a plethora of religious fanatics and has to end up by poisoning herself in a very Verdian ending just after a farcical depiction of the god Baal is struck down, presumably by Jehovah (Yahweh). This statue of Baal is so funny it always makes me laugh just before Hero Abigaille dies.

The costumes are correct for the period in question, which is just as well as Nabucco in a boiler suit or suchlike would look utterly ridiculous. The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves in Act III, Scene 2 could have been performed better, although it may all be down to the open air, Roman arena acoustics.

I'm just saying how I see it all and none of this means that it isn't a great production and that I didn't like it. In fact, I like it a lot and have watched it quite a number of times without ever tiring of it; but Abigaille is always my hero. I simply want to show that we can interpret these works in many different ways and also enjoy them for different reasons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 2 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Nabucco [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Pure state of art!... You need to buy this DVD as soon as possible. Very good quality and beautiful sound.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Renato Bruson at his best!, 25 Jan 2010
By 
G. J. Van Keulen (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This performance of Nabucco is very nice. Especially the singing and the acting of Renato Bruson as Nabucco. One of the very best Nabucco performers. This video recording (dated from 1981) is vivid with briljant colours, even if displayed on a today's LCD screen. That was supprising to me. Many other records from that period are not so goodlooking as this one.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open Air Opera - Beautiful, 14 May 2011
This review is from: Nabucco [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I visited the Arena in Verona last year which is why I chose this particular version of Nabucco. The setting is wonderful and the performance equally so.
I liked the fact that you have sub-titles so you can follow the story. The aficionados don't like this feature I believe but I find it helpful. I can certainly recommend this version to anyone, I don't think it matters that it is from the 1980's
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reason for purchase, 5 May 2013
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This review is from: Nabucco [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I ordered this DVD to get familiar with the story as I was going to see Nabucco downstreamed from Covent Garden. I thoroughly enjoyed the DVD production but preferred Covent Garden's interpretation of the opera.
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Puzzled, 17 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Nabucco [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This opera starts off with a musical piece that sounds like Mozart's Dies Irae. Then, when people are talking about dire and really important things it goes all sing along (the opposite to a modern film where the music will try and match the event/conversation). Furthermore, the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves sounds like some sort of rallying German theme tune...
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Nabucco [DVD] [2011]
Nabucco [DVD] [2011] by Arena Di Verona (DVD - 2005)
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