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Nabucco

Act III, Scene I

 
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Metropolitan Opera Chorus

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This chorus from Verdi's 'Nabucco' ("Nebucchadnezzar") is the lament of the Hebrew slaves during the Babylonian Captivity. The chorus became the most popular tune in Verdi's early operas, and a sort of national anthem for Italy during the 'Risorgimento', the period in the late 1800s when that fractured country achieved unity. The melody is still well known in Italy today.

Verdi expresses a simple patriotic sentiment here. But the success of 'Nabucco' meant that the composer would include similar choruses in many of his later operas, sung by crusaders, bandits, Inca tribesmen, and oppressed Scots (in 'Macbeth.')

The second half of the video features bass Samuel Ramey as the prophet Zachary, who encourages his people to stand fast in the face of oppression.







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