For the best browsing experience, please download a modern browser. Internet Explorer 8 is outdated and may result in errors.

Seattle Opera.

Nabucco

Betrayed. Twisted. Epic.

Aug. 8-22, 2015

Overview

By Giuseppe Verdi

A MAGNIFICENT EPIC WITH AN ENGAGING TWIST. The splendor of ancient Babylon. The yearning of a nationless people. A king’s pride, a god’s wrath, a pair of star-crossed lovers. Verdi’s epic account of King Nebuchadnezzar comes to Seattle Opera for the very first time with an inventive new production that puts the orchestra at the heart of the action and brings you closer to the singers than ever before. Thrill to the “Va, pensiero” chorus, marvel at the grandeur, and connect with the characters on a whole new level.


In Italian with English subtitles | at McCaw Hall 
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours 45 minutes with 1 intermission

Share with your friends on:

Back to Top

Synopsis

Ancient Jerusalem and Babylon, 587 BCE

Part 1: Jerusalem
The Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. The Hebrews, that is, the people of Judah, pray as the armies of Babylon, led by King Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar), sack their city. The High Priest, Zaccaria, urges the Hebrews not to despair:they have captured Nabucco's daughter, Fenena, and are holding her hostage. Zaccaria entrusts her to Ismaele, nephew of the king of Judah, not knowing that she and Ismaele are in love. (Earlier, when Ismaele was captive in Babylon, Fenena had fallen in love with him and helped him escape.) Abigaille, Fenena's half-sister, surprises the lovers. She, too, loves Ismaele; but he rebuffs her. Suddenly, Nabucco and his army march into the temple. Zaccaria confronts Nabucco and threatens to kill Fenena, but Ismaele protects his beloved. The Hebrews curse Ismaele as a traitor, and Nabucco orders the destruction of the temple.

Part 2: The Blasphemer
Nabucco's palace in Babylon. Abigaille has found a document proving that Nabucco is not really her father;that she is in fact lower than a slave. She intends to conceal the document and destroy Nabucco and Fenena. The High Priest of Baal (the Babylonian god) informs Abigaille that Fenena, appointed regent while Nabucco wages war, has freed Ismaele and the Hebrew captives. Dismayed by Fenena's treason, the priest suggests that Abigaille should be the one to rule Babylon. He has already begun spreading the rumor that Nabucco has fallen in battle. Abigaille vows to seize the throne.

Among the captive Hebrews, Zaccaria reads over the Tablets of Law, praying for inspiration to persuade the Babylonians to renounce their false idols. The Hebrews are furious with Ismaele for sparing Fenena, but they soften when they discover that she has converted to Judaism.

The rumor that Nabucco is dead reaches the palace. Supported by the Babylonians, Abigaille demands the crown from Fenena. But at that moment Nabucco himself enters. He declares that he is no longer king—he is god. A thunderbolt strikes him down; the crown falls from his head and he goes mad. Abigaille grabs the crown and proclaims herself ruler of Babylon.

Part 3: The Prophecy
In the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The High Priest urges Abigaille to have the Hebrews put to death. Before she can give the order, the mad Nabucco wanders in. Abigaille tricks him into signing the death warrant for the Hebrews. He finds out too late that he has consigned Fenena, now a Jew, to be killed. Abigaille tries to remind Nabucco that she, too, is his daughter, whereupon Nabucco looks for the document proving that Abigaille is the daughter of a slave. She rips the paper to pieces. Realizing his powerlessness, Nabucco pleads in vain for Fenena's life.

On the banks of the Euphrates. A chain-gang of enslaved Hebrews rests from forced labor, and in the great chorus "Va, pensiero," their thoughts turn to their beloved Zion. Zaccaria inspires them with a prophecy of the destruction of Babylon and the holy fire of courage.

Part 4: The Shattered Idol
From a window Nabucco watches Fenena and the Hebrew slaves being led to execution. Desperate, he prays to the God of the Hebrews for forgiveness. He promises to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and convert to Judaism. His strength and reason are restored; he opens the door of the room where he is locked, gathers a band of loyal soldiers, and resolves to regain his throne, punish the traitors, and save his daughter.

The Hebrews are about to be sacrificed to Baal. Fenena serenely prepares for death when Nabucco rushes in and stops the sacrifice. He declares he will rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem and worship the God of the Hebrews. All join in prayer. Abigaille confesses her crimes, begs forgiveness of Fenena, prays for God's mercy, and dies. Nabucco frees the Hebrews, and everyone unites in praising God.

Read More

What the Critics are Saying

“A biblical epic loaded with eye-catching visuals and stellar voices… Seattle-area opera lovers should seize this chance to check out some early Verdi – and some remarkable voices.” –The Seattle Times

“The singing is magnificent from everybody, chorus included.” –The Sunbreak

“You’re going to LOVE Verdi’s Nabucco!” –The Stranger

Learn More

WAYS TO SAVE

Seattle Opera believes in opera for all. There are many ways to attend for less, including $25 tickets for every performance; up to 30% off with season ticket packages; special pricing for patrons age 21-39; and student, senior, military, teen, and group discounts.

Learn More

Back to Top

Cast

Gordon Hawkins

Nabucco

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Nabucco, Nabucco 
Seattle Opera Debut: Amonasro, Aida (’92) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Porgy, Porgy and Bess (’11); Count di Luna, Il trovatore (’10); Donner/Gunther, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’09) 

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Recently: Porgy, Porgy and Bess (Bergen International Festival); Nabucco, Nabucco (Opera Carolina); Scarpia, Tosca (Lyric Opera Kansas City)
Upcoming: Rigoletto, Rigoletto (Vancouver Opera); Alberich, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Washington National Opera); Scarpia, Tosca (Cincinnati Opera)

Last updated: August 2015

View Full Bio

Gordon Hawkins

Nabucco

August 8, 12, 15, & 22

Weston Hurt

Nabucco

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Nabucco, Nabucco; Talbot, Mary Stuart
At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Giorgio Germont, La traviata

Hometown: Houston, TX
Seattle Opera Debut:
Germont, La traviata (‘09)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Nabucco, Nabucco (’15); Ford, Falstaff (’10)
Recently: Germont, La traviata (New Orleans Opera); Scarpia, Tosca (Houston Grand Opera); Iago, Otello (Boston Youth Symphony)
Upcoming: Germont, La traviata (Seattle Opera); Sharpless, Madama Butterfly (Berkshire Opera)

Last updated: February 2016

Weston Hurt

Nabucco

August 9, 14, & 19

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Abigaille

At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Tosca, Tosca
At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Abigaille, Nabucco; Elisabetta, Mary Stuart
Seattle Opera Debut: Leonora, Il trovatore (’10) 
Seattle Opera Artist of the Year: Serena, Porgy and Bess ('11)
Seattle Opera Young Artist: 2000/01

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Recently: Lady Macbeth, Macbeth (Theater St. Gallen); Norma, Norma (Florida Grand Opera); Abigaille, Nabucco (Opera Leipzig)
Upcoming: Chimène, Le Cid (St. Galler Festpiele); Lady Macbeth, Macbeth (Welsh National Opera)

Last updated: February 2016

View Full Bio

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Abigaille

August 8, 12, 15, & 22

Raffaella Angeletti

Abigaille

Soprano
At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Abigaille, Nabucco
Seattle Opera Debut

Hometown: Torino, Italy
Recently: Abigaille, Nabucco (Opéra national de Lorraine and NHK Symphony Orchestra); Tosca, Tosca,and Amneris, Aida (Teatro dell’Opera di Roma)
Upcoming: Suor Angelica and Giorgetta, Il trittico (Teatro dell’Opera di Roma); Lady Macbeth, Macbeth (Theater St. Gallen)

Last updated: August 2015

View Full Bio

Raffaella Angeletti

Abigaille

Seattle Opera Debut
August 9, 14, & 19

Christian Van Horn

Zaccaria

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Zaccaria, Nabucco
Seattle Opera Debut

Hometown: Long Island, NY
Recently: Narbal, Les Troyens (San Francisco Opera); Four Villains, Les contes d’Hoffmann (Bayerische Staatsoper); Colline, La bohème (San Diego Opera)
Upcoming: Alidoro, La Cenerentola, and Frère Laurent, Roméo et Juliette (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Colline, La bohème (Metropolitan Opera)


Last updated: August 2015

View Full Bio

Christian Van Horn

Zaccaria

Seattle Opera Debut
August 8, 12, 15, & 22

Andreas Bauer

Zaccaria

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Zaccaria, Nabucco
Seattle Opera Debut

Hometown: Frankfurt, Germany
Recently: Vodnìk, Rusalka, and Fiesco, Simon Boccanegra (Oper Frankfurt); Hermit, Der Freischütz (Semperoper Dresden)
Upcoming: Filippo II, Don Carlos, Daland, Der fliegende Holländer (Oper Frankfurt); King Henry, Lohengrin (New National Theatre, Tokyo)


Last updated: August 2015

View Full Bio

Andreas Bauer

Zaccaria

Seattle Opera Debut
August 9, 14, & 19

Jamie Barton

Fenena

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Fenena, Nabucco
Seattle Opera Debut

Hometown: Rome, GA
Recently: Fricka, Die Walküre (Houston Grand Opera); Verdi Requiem (Toronto Symphony); Azucena, Il trovatore (Cincinnati Opera)
Upcoming: Adalgisa, Norma (Los Angeles Opera); Waltraute and Second Norn, Götterdämmerung (Washington National Opera); Fenena, Nabucco (Royal Opera Covent Garden)


Last updated: August 2015

View Full Bio

Jamie Barton

Fenena

Seattle Opera Debut
August 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 19, & 22

Russell Thomas

Ismaele

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Ismaele, Nabucco
Previously at Seattle Opera: Hoffmann, The Tales of Hoffmann (’14); Foresto, Attila (’12)
Seattle Opera Young Artist: 2002/03

Hometown: Miami, FL
Recently: Manrico, Il trovatore (Cincinnati Opera); Faust, Faust (Detroit Opera House); Pollione, Norma (Palau de la Musica, Valencia)
Upcoming: Turiddu, Cavalleria rusticana (Deutsche Oper Berlin); Pollione, Norma (Los Angeles Opera); Stiffelio, Stiffelio (Oper Frankfurt)


Last updated: August 2015

View Full Bio

Russell Thomas

Ismaele

August 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 19, & 22

Jonathan Silvia

High Priest of Baal

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Second Armored Man, The Magic Flute (’11)  
Seattle Opera Debut: First Villager, Pagliacci (’08)
Previously at Seattle Opera: High Priest of Baal, Nabucco (’15); Luther, The Tales of Hoffmann (’14); Imperial Commissioner, Madama Butterfly (’12)

Hometown: Kirkland, WA
Recently: Alidoro, La Cenerentola, and Ramfis, Aida (Skagit Opera); Leporello, Don Giovanni (Vashon Opera)
Upcoming: Oroveso, Norma (Skagit Opera); Enrico, Anna Bolena (Puget Sound Concert Opera)

Last updated: August 2015

Jonathan Silvia

High Priest of Baal

August 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 19, & 22

Eric Neuville

Abdallo

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: A Nobleman, Count Ory; Gastone, La traviata; and First Priest, The Magic Flute

Hometown: Waupaca, WI
Seattle Opera Young Artist 2009/10, 2010/11
Seattle Opera Debut: Normanno, Lucia di Lammermoor (’10) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Abdallo, Nabucco (’15); Scaramuccio, Ariadne auf Naxos (’15); Nathanaël, The Tales of Hoffmann (’14)
Recently: Laurie, Little Women (Madison Opera); Recital, The Poet Sings: Emily Dickinson (Conspirare Recital Series)
Upcoming: Gastone, La traviata, and First Priest, The Magic Flute (Seattle Opera); Young Thompson, Glory Denied (Nashville Opera)

Last updated: July 2016

Eric Neuville

Abdallo

August 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 19, & 22

Karen Early Evans

Anna

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Annina, La traviata
Seattle Opera Debut: First Handmaiden, Turandot ('12) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Anna, Nabucco ('15); Mistress of Novices, Suor Angelica, 2013

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Recently: Donna Anna, Don Giovanni (Tacoma Opera); Lucy, The Telephone (NOISE); Elisabetta, Maria Stuarda (Seattle Opera Guild)
Upcoming: Soloist, Intermezzo (Tacoma Opera); Magda, La Rondine (Puget Sound Concert Opera); Soloist, Vedem (Music of Remembrance)

Last updated: February 2016

Karen Early Evans

Anna

August 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 19, & 22

Cast

Creative Team

Carlo Montanaro

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Nabucco and Mary Stuart
Seattle Opera Debut: Don Quichotte (’11)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Nabucco (’15); The Consul (’14); La bohème (’13) 

Hometown: Cecina, Italy
Recently: La bohème (Opera Australia); Rigoletto (Warsaw National Opera); Tosca (Opéra de Monte-Carlo)
Upcoming: Carmen (San Francisco Opera); Rigoletto (Oper Frankfurt); La traviata (Dallas Opera)

Last updated: February 2016

Carlo Montanaro

Conductor

François Racine

Director

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Nabucco
Seattle Opera Debut and Artist of the Year: Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung (’09)

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec
Recently:  Orfeo (Music Conservatory of Montréal); La Vie Parisienne (Théâtre Lyrique de la Montérégie); Bluebeard's Castle/Erwartung (Canadian Opera Company)
Upcoming: Madama Butterfly (Opera de Montréal); Le nozze di Figaro (Montréal University); L'elisir d'amore (McGill University) 


Last updated: August 2015

François Racine

Director

Robert Bonniol

Video Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Nabucco and An American Dream

MODE Studios, principal designer (Seattle, WA)

Robert Bonniol is a director and production designer. At Seattle Opera he designed projections for Parsifal in 2003 and the KeyArena simulcast of Madama Butterfly in 2012. Other opera credits include projection design of War and Peace at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, Frobisher for Calgary Opera, and Don Giovanni for Banff Centre. He designed the TED Conferences from 2010 to 2012, the MTV Music Awards, on tour for Lenny Kravitz and other performers, and massive scale projection mapping for Marvel Universe Live, a co-production of Marvel Studios, Walt Disney, and Feld Entertainment. 

Last updated: June 2015

Robert Bonniol

Video Designer

Video Design by Robert Bonniol, MODE Studios, principal designer

Robert Schaub

Set Design

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Nabucco and An American Dream
At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: The Magic Flute

Robert Schaub has been Seattle Opera’s Technical and Facilities Director for more than 24 years, overseeing much of what an audience sees onstage, including lighting, scenery, and props. He played a key role in the development and realization of designs for McCaw Hall. Schaub is the recipient of a 2001 Eddy (Entertainment Design) award for his work on Seattle Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. He made his Seattle Opera design debut in 2011, partnering with Robert Dahlstrom on the set design for Die Zauberflöte.

Last updated: December 2015

Robert Schaub

Set Design

Duane Schuler

Lighting Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Count Ory and The Magic Flute

Hometown: Elkhart Lake, WI
Seattle Opera Debut: Norma (’94)
Previously at Seattle Opera: The Marriage of Figaro ('16); Nabucco (’15); Don Giovanni (’14)
Recently: Beatrice et Bénédict (Glyndebourne Festival); Maometto II (Canadian Opera Company); Bel Canto (Lyric Opera of Chicago)
Upcoming: The Magic Flute (Seattle Opera); Don Pasquale (San Francisco Opera); Cendrillon (Metropolitan Opera)

Last Updated: July 2016

Duane Schuler

Lighting Designer

Ginette Grenier

Costume Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Nabucco
Seattle Opera Debut

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec
Recently: Gianni Schicci and Suor Angelica (Opera McGill); La vie Parisienne (Théâtre Lyrique de la Montérégie); L’Aiglon ( Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal)
Upcoming:Little Women and L’elisir d’amore (Opera McGill); Une nuit à Venise (Théâtre Lyrique de la Montérégie)

Last updated: August 2015

Ginette Grenier

Costume Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

Joyce Degenfelder

Hair and Makeup Designer

Hair and Makeup Designer (Los Angeles, CA)

Joyce Degenfelder’s association with Seattle Opera began in 1992 with The Ballad of Baby Doe. In 2003, Degenfelder made her Seattle Opera design debut with Parsifal, and ever since she has designed makeup and wigs for all of Seattle Opera’s productions. In addition to her work with Seattle Opera, she is also wig master for Seattle Repertory Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and ACT Theater. Her work has been seen around the country including Seattle Children’s Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Alaska Repertory Theatre, and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.

Read our interview with Joyce Degenfelder HERE.

Last Updated: October 2015

Joyce Degenfelder

Hair and Makeup Designer

Jonathan Dean

English Captions

Hometown: Okemos, MI
Seattle Opera Debut: Le nozze di Figaro ('97)
In-House Dramaturg for Seattle Opera
Previously at Seattle Opera:
English Captions Titlist (from Carmen '95 to Carmen '04); pre-performance lecturer (from Lohengrin '04 through Amelia '10); creator of the children’s operas Theft of the Gold and Siegfried and the Ring of Fire

Jonathan Dean

English Captions

Creative Team

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

Orchestra

Violin I
Cordula Merks, Concertmaster
Jennifer Bai
Mariel Bailey
Eugene Bazhanov
Brittany Boulding-Breeden
Jennifer Caine
Timothy Garland, Asst. Principal
Michael Jinsoo Lim
Mikhail Shmidt
Clark Story
Jeannie Wells Yablonsky
Arthur Zadinsky

Violin II
Michael Miropolsky, Principal
Kathleen Boyer, Asst. Principal
Evan Anderson
Natasha Bazhanov
Linda Cole
Denise Dillenbeck
Xiao-po Fei
Artur Girsky
Adrianna Hulscher
Victoria Parker

Viola
Mara Gearman, Principal
Timothy Hale, Asst. Principal
Wesley Dyring
Alison Farkas
Joseph Gottesman
Sayaka Kokubo
Laura Renz
Julie Whitton

Cello
Eric Han, Principal
Bruce Bailey
Roberta Downey
Chuck Jacot
Joy Payton-Stevens, Asst. Principal
Karissa Zadinsky

Bass
Jordan Anderson, Principal
Joseph Kaufman, Asst. Principal
Jonathan Burnstein
Jennifer Godfrey
Travis Gore

Flute
Alexander Lipay, Principal
Wendy Wilhelmi

Piccolo
Wendy Wilhelmi

Oboe
Ben Hausmann, Principal
Stefan Farkas

Engish Horn
Stefan Farkas, Principal

Clarinet
Laura Deluca, Principal
Craig Rine

Bassoon
Seth Krimsky, Principal
Paul Rafanelli

Horn
Jeff Fair, Principal
Cara Kizer
John Karschney
Richard Reed

Trumpet
James Ross, Principal
Tony Di Lorenzo

Trombone
Sam Schlosser, Principal
David Ritt
Stephen Fissel

Cimbasso
Chris Olka, Principal

Timpani
Michael Crusoe, Principal

 

Percussion
Michael Clark, Principal
Matt Kocmieroski
Rob Tucker

Harp
Valerie Muzzolini Gordon, Principal
John Carrington

Banda

Flute/Piccolo
Robin Peery

Oboe
Shannon Spicciati

Clarinet
Sean Osborn, Principal
Jennifer Nelson

Bassoon
Mike Gamburg

Horn
Joe Berger, Principal
Matthew Berliner

Trumpet
Vince Green

Trombone
Keith Winkle

Tuba
Jonathan Hill

Percussion
Matt Kocmieroski

Personnel Manager
Scott Wilson

Assistant Personnel Manager
Keith Higgins

 

Rotating member of the string section are are listed alphabetically.
The Orchestra is composed of members of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

 

Chorus

Soprano
Donna Baldwin
Jennifer Ceresa
Serena Eduljee
Melanie Hingson
Dana Johnson
Laura Loge
Linda Mattos
Heather Mullin
Jessica Noronha
Eleanor Stallcop-Horrox
Shelly Traverse
Kimberly Waite
Erin White
Eliza Woodyard

Mezzo-Soprano
Linda Baird
Annalisee Brasil
Lorraine Burdick
Laura Eichelberger
YeonSoo Lee
Cheryse McLeod Lewis
Rachelle Moss
Elizabeth Peterson
Melissa Plagemann
Allison Brooke Robertson
Susan Salas
Heidi Vanderford

Tenor
Nathan Barnes
Joel Cummings
Jon Farmer
Dustin Kaspar
Ian Loney
German Mendoza
Joshua Quesada
Karl Marx Reyes
Logan Skirm
James Walters
Colin Ward

Bass/Baritone
Daniel Aarthun
Michael Dunlap
Paul Gauger
Craig Grayson
Glenn Guhr
Michael Heitmann
Tom Hingson
Woong Kim
Kwangsuk Ku
Gregory Lewis
Dierre Lopez
Misha Myznikov
Julian Reisenthel
Jonah Spool
Revere Taylor
Brett Youngquist

Supernumeraries

Shawn Kavon
Mark Kerr
Rich Lewis
T.J. Mustard
Tyrone Olds
Andrei Panicerschi
Clay Sales
John Smilgin
Kevin Swantek

 

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

Back to Top
Back to Top

Videos

Back to Top

PLAN YOUR VISIT

All performances take place at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle. Join our email list to receive personalized alerts with updates on traffic, dining, and parking for your specific performance, or choose a topic below to learn more.

Directions & Parking

Seating Chart

Dining

Back to Top

Production Sponsors

Seattle Opera Foundation
Kreielsheimer Endowment Fund

Photos © Philip Newton