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Opera in 2 acts
Beginning: 10.07.2022 - 15:00
Completion: 17:45
Sung in Italian
Giuseppe Verdi
 Libretto by Temistocle Solera.
A joint Ukrainian-Italian art project
under the patronage of the Embassy of Italy in Ukraine
Official Partner: Italian Cultural Institute in Ukraine
In cooperation with:
Regione Basilicata
Matera 2019 – European Capital of Culture
Fondazione Luciano Pavarotti
Official Sponsor: PRAVEX-BANK PJSCCB



Act I

Scene 1


The Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. The Levites and the regular Hebrews pray to Yahve as the Babylonians (Assyrians), headed by Nebuchadnezzar (Nabucco), devastate Israel. The High Priest Zaccaria calls people to hope for the best and tells them that he succeeded in capturing Fenena, daughter of the Babylonian King. The presence of Fenena may secure peace between the Assyrians and the Hebrews.


Ismaele, nephew of the King of Jerusalem, informs that Babylonian army advances on the city and plunders everything on its way. Zaccaria entrusts Fenena to Ismaele and calls people for making preparations for defense. Left alone, Fenena and Ismaele recall how they fell in love when Ismaele was once held prisoner by the Babylonians and how Fenena helped him to escape to Israel. The young man hopes to rescue the princess, but suddenly Abigaille, Nabucco’s supposed elder daughter, enters the temple with the Assyrians. Her heart is full of love for Ismaele. For Ismaele’s love she is ready to save the Hebrew people. But Ismaele’s love cannot be forced. He denies Abigaille’s proposal. People overcrowd the temple. The army of the Assyrian King besieges the walls of Jerusalem. Nabucco enters the temple enjoining people to fall on their knees before him. Zaccaria defies him; he springs forward to Fenena threatening to knife her: іf the Assyrian King and his warriors carry on desecrating the temple, he will kill the King’s daughter. Nabucco is at a loss at what’s to be done. He is ready to make terms with Zaccaria. Suddenly, Ismaele rushes to Fenena and snatches her from the hands of Zaccaria. She is saved. And the Assyrian King’s heart turns to stone: he orders to plunder and burn Jerusalem.


Scene 2


Nabucco’s palace in Babylon. Abigaille has cunningly discovered a document that proves she is not Nabucco's real daughter, but the daughter of slaves. While Nabucco is at war, Abigaille spreads rumors of his death; she plans to kill Fenena who is entitled to the throne by law. For this purpose, she colludes with the High Priest of Bel.


Scene 3


Zaccaria, the High Priest of the Hebrews, offers a prayer to Yahve.


Scene 4


Deeply disturbed by Ismaele’s betrayal, the Hebrews curse him, while Anna, Fenena’s sister, stands for Ismaele. Fenena enters accompanied by Zaccaria. Being appointed regent of the city and being informed of Nabucco’s death, she grants freedom to the imprisoned Hebrews and accepts the Hebrew faith in order to return to Jerusalem with them. The High Priest of Bel glorifies Abigaille and demands to kill the Hebrews. Abigaille tries to snatch the King’s Crown from Fenena. At this moment, Nabucco enters the throne room. He seizes the Crown and proclaims himself to be God. Suddenly, lightning hits the crown. God punishes the King by robbing him of his mind. The Crown is picked up by Abigaille.



Act II

Scene 5


The High Priest of Bel crowns Abigaille. The court nobility glorifies the new Queen. Nabucco enters. Taking advantage of his sickliness, Abigaille tricks him into stamping the decree on punishment by death for the imprisoned Hebrews. For a moment his mind returns to him. He realizes in horror that Fenena should also be punished according to the decree. In front of him, Abigaille breaks the document on her servile origin and proclaims Nabucco to be her prisoner.


Scene 6


The Hebrews pray to Yahve on the ruins of the temple. Zaccaria prophesizes a forthcoming release of the people from the Babylonian yoke.


Scene 7


Nabucco is imprisoned on Abigaille’s order. Through the bars he sees Fenena being taken to execution. Nabucco realizes that something irreparable has happened. He prays fervently to the Hebrew God while his mind returns to him. Abdallo and other loyal warriors enter to release him. Nabucco resolves to rescue Fenena.


Scene 8


Fenena, Zaccaria, Ismaele, and Anna are awaiting their execution. Fenena offers a prayer. The High Priest of Bel orders to begin the execution; at that moment, Nabucco enters with his warriors. In front of shocked Babylonians, the statue of the Assyrian God is destroyed. Nabucco glorifies Yahve and releases the imprisoned Hebrews. Losing the last hope for taking the throne, Abigaille takes poison. While dying, she asks Fenena for forgiveness and prays fervently to Yahve. Zaccaria proclames Nabucco the king of kings.