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Theatre / Nabucco

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A performance of Nabucco at the Metropolitan Opera.

This 1842 number by Giuseppe Verdi is a four act opera, set to a libretto by Temistocle Solera, and based on the biblical account of the exile of the Jews into slavery by the King of Babylon, Nabucco, better known in English as Nebuchadnezzar.

This opera contains examples of:

  • Badass Preacher: Zaccaria, the Jewish High Priest, who isn't above taking up a weapon and openly defies Nabucco even while in captivity.
  • Blasphemous Boast: In Act II, Nabucco declares that he has surpassed both Baal and Jehovah, and demands that he be worshipped as a God, going so far as force his own daughter to prostrate herself. It doesn't end well.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Nabucco declares himself the one true god and is promptly driven mad by phantoms.
  • Cain and Abel: Ambitious (and therefore evil) Abigaille and the younger Fenena, albeit Not Blood Siblings.
  • Converting for Love: Nabucco's younger daughter Fenena, who falls in love with Ismaele and converts to Judaism.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Abigaille is Nebucco's ambitious adopted daughter, who is willing to resort to deceit and bloodshed to claim the throne.
  • Determinator: Zaccaria. No matter what Nabucco does to him and the Jews, he never gives up.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Genocidal warlord he may be, but when Nabucco learns that Abigaille intends to have his daughter Fenena executed, he pleads for her life, declaring she may have his throne and his kingdom, if she only spares Fenena.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Eventually, Abigaille ascends the throne, and proves herself to be even more ruthless than her father.
  • High Priest: The cult of Baal is led by a high priest who uses his connections to create political unrest.
  • Human Sacrifice: Fenena is threatened with sacrifice to Baal for converting to Judaism.