Nabucco


CINCINNATI OPERA | 2002

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PHOTO©2001 KEN HOWARD PLEASE CREDIT
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PHOTO©2001 KEN HOWARD PLEASE CREDIT
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PHOTO©2001 KEN HOWARD PLEASE CREDIT
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NABUCCO by Giuseppe Verdi
Conductor: Edoardo Müller
Cast: Lado Atanelli, Lauren Flanigan, Mark Doss, Scott Piper, Carmela Jones
Production: P. Werner (scenery/clothes), T. C. Hase (lighting), J. Geier (hair/make-up)
photos courtesy of Ken Howard

“A taut design for the Temple in Jerusalem consisted of a floating, circular wall inscribed with a Hebrew text from the Torah surrounding a plain, circular acting area centered upon a massive boulder-altar illuminated with a brilliant white light from above. Jerusalem’s circular designs were cleverly contrasted with the massive square designs of Babylon’s Hanging Gardens. Muni’s staging worked with assured effectiveness. In lieu of horses, Nabucco’s chariot was hauled into the Temple by six captive Hebrew priests. At the act’s conclusion, Nabucco insanely slaughtered several defenseless Hebrews, culminating in the sacrifice of a six-year-old boy on the very altar stone of the Hebrew God. Muni easily clarified an often confusing dramatic point by having Abigaille discover onstage the papers revealing her origin as a slave, rather than relying on the text of the Act II recitative to inform us of the situation.”
Charles Parsons, Opera News & American Record Guide (November, 2001)

“…two strokes of genius stick in the memory. The great concertato (“S’appressan l’istante”) usually a purely musical moment, this time crackled with nervous anticipation, generated by minimal but highly charged details of glance and gesture. “Va, pensiero” registered wonderfully, too. Passing diagonal shafts of light that illuminated a face or two at a time, a crowd was transformed from a mass into individuals, each born to an individual as well as a collective fate.”
- Matthew Gurewitsch, Opera Now (November, 2001)

“Artistic Director Nicholas Muni gives [the opera] a psychological twist or two, such as making Nabucco’s power-hungry daughter, Abigaille—who’s actually the daughter of a slave—the daughter of a Hebrew slave. The production, by Muni and German designer Peter Werner, adopts a grand but minimalist approach with Thomas Hase’s Rembrandt-esque lighting carving out the drama.”
Mary Ellyn Hutton, The Cincinnati Post (July, 2001)

“The stage, bare and dramatic, was highlighted with bold centerpieces. Jerusalem was represented by a huge cyclorama with ancient Hebraic writing depicting portions of the Torah. The temples and courts of Babylon were dominated by centerpieces of great idols and thrones. All scenes were bathed in dramatic lighting, which enhanced the effect. Muni’s casting was peerless.”
Burt Saidel, The Oakwood Register (July, 2001)

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