Bath Opera celebrates Verdi anniversary by performing Nabucco
Bath Opera's annual production this year celebrates the bicentenary of Verdi's birth with a performance of his third opera, Nabucco.
The opera can be seen at the Wroughton Theatre Bath from Thursday to Saturday February 14 to 16.
The opera is set against historical events in the 6 BC when the Jews were overthrown and exiled from their homeland by the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar.
Political intrigue, romance, jealousy and finally forgiveness provide the plot for some of Verdi's most lyrical music including one of his best known choruses Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves and Fly Thought, on Golden Wings.
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The production stars Judy Davis, Roderick Hunt, Niall Hoskin, Hannah Lockwood, Rupert Drury and Kathy Adams and is directed by guest director John Palmer who directed Bath Opera's Louisa Miller in 2011. In a first both for Bath Opera and John Palmer the production is staged in the round.
Says John: "I decided to put it on in the round because it was a logical progression from some of my previous shows where I have had the orchestra behind the action (behind a gauze screen) in order to bring the audience nearer to the sung performances.
"I am a great believer in getting the audience engaged with opera."
The production will again see the orchestra and musical director Peter Blackwood directing from behind the action.
Both the design and costumes are in period reflecting the history and ritual of two great cultures. Translating it into contemporary idiom could have made it rather 'directorish', says John.
The costumes have been designed by Jane Clark who, in the absence of historical references, has taken her ideas from a variety of sources. "I have kept the Hebrew costumes earthy and natural,"she says, "whilst the Assyrian women in particular have been given a richer look both in textiles and by giving them more jewellery."
As usual the production is accompanied by a full orchestra, made up largely by professional freelance musicians including ex Vienna Symphony and Birmingham Symphony players and brought together by musical director Peter Blackwood.who once again conducts.
The performance on Thursday February 14 will be a gala performance with preshow champagne and canapes and a free bar during the interval.
Tickets for the gala performance are £30 buttherwise tickets are £20 and are obtainable on 01225 463362.