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Grand Théâtre de GenèveBoulevard du Théâtre 11, Geneva, 1204, Switzerland
Dates/times in Zurich time zone
Sunday 11 June 202320:00
Wednesday 14 June 202320:00
Saturday 17 June 202320:00
Tuesday 20 June 202320:00
Thursday 22 June 202320:00
Sunday 25 June 202315:00
Tuesday 27 June 202320:00
Thursday 29 June 202320:00
Verdi, Giuseppe (1813-1901)NabuccoLibretto by Temistocle Solera
Grand Théâtre de Genève
Antonino FoglianiConductor
Christiane JatahyDirector
Thomas WalgraveSet Designer, Lighting Designer
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Chorus of the Grand Théâtre de Genève
Nicola AlaimoBaritoneNabucco
Roman BurdenkoBaritoneNabuccoJun 11, 14, 17, 20, 22, 27, 29
Saioa HernándezSopranoAbigaille
Ena PongracMezzo-sopranoFenena
Riccardo ZanellatoBassZaccaria
Davide GiustiTenorIsmaele
Omar ManciniTenorAbdallo
Julieth LozanoSopranoAnna

The twists and turns of this epic early work by Giuseppe Verdi have often been interpreted as a call to the national liberation struggle that would eventually lead to Italian unity. However, this more or less divine mission of insurgency, whose representatives are the Lord’s anointed – be they Zaccaria or Verdi – is not really based on the notion of unity but on that of difference. For if Nabucco‘s theme is the exile of the Jewish people in Babylonian captivity with its famous “Va, pensiero”, the opera emphasises, perhaps unwittingly, a particularity of rabbinic thought, the idea of the “withdrawal” of the divine as a presence of absence. Beginning with the destruction of the Lord’s temple, Jewish identity is not constructed on the “omnipotence” of the divine in the world but rather on the gaping chasm and how to rise above this void. When Nabucco, in the first act, mocks the absence of God, the one who should protect them, he is caught in a reverse bind at the endof the piece and finds himself bowing before that very God to save his own daughter, he who had proclaimed himself a god. Today, identity, religion and nationalism are intertwined and create the corrosive formula of most modern populisms that try to gloss over this original incompleteness by a construction of absolute and false truths. Lacuna and identity, exile and power, displaced or decimated populations, forced migrations within a nation or even within a community are themes with which Christiane Jatahy never stops playing, in fiction and reality, stage and video. The Brazilian director, filmmaker and author, who was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2022, will give new life to Verdi’s metaphor of the Bible by introducing, as she is wont to do in her readings of the classics, the words of those who are still resisting today at the four corners of the world, from the Middle East to the Amazon, passing through South Africa and arriving here. For her, the telling of history also means asking the question of how to change it and our world today. In this hall of mirrors and identity reflections, from the choir to the audience, from the singing characters to the silent figures, maestro Antonino Fogliani will be back to lead the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, through the piece’s differences and concordances, along with a cast of extraordinary bel canto singers, including Riccardo Zanellato, Nicola Alaimo and Saioa Hernandez, who will be back after their remarkable performance in Guillaume Tell in 2015.

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