Its emblematic Va, pensiero in the third act resounds forever in the stone of a resurgent Italy and in the blood of its proud inhabitants. Yet however powerful it may be in all its subtle nostalgia, this Slave Chorus alone cannot sum up Giuseppe Verdi’s first triumph: this Nabucco, which premiered on 9 March 1842 on the stage of La Scala in Milan, which suddenly propelled an almost unknown composer not yet 30 into the limelight and ignited a legend. It nonetheless represented a powerful stunt: to stage the bravery shown by a people of slaves openly demanding their independence (the famous biblical episode of the Hebrews of Babylon) in the heart of a city (Milan) marked by centuries of violent covetousness of continental powers and at that very time under the tight grip of the very polite Austro-Hungarian Empire… While subsequently – at the time of the great conflict of 1848 and the irresistible ascent of the Risorgimento – this work was very (too) quickly elevated to the status of the first “patriotic opera”, it would indeed seem in light of recent studies that neither the audience at the premiere, nor even the composer himself, were aware at the time of the potentially “revolutionary” character of the subject. One need only consider the work in its entirety: a stunning biblical show brimming with all opera’s cherished narrative devices – confrontations between the weak and the powerful; ardent yet impossible love; an exotic setting – that was immediately and spontaneously appreciated by its initial audiences in Milan.
First performance at Teatro alla Scala on March 9, 1842
Published by G. Ricordi & Co. Bühnen – und Musikverlag GmbH, Berlin
Winner of the Mozart Competition at the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari, the Mascagni Prize at the Cascina Lirica Competition and a special prize at the Toti dal Monte Competition in Treviso, Gabriele Viviani has distinguished himself in the roles of Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Marcello (La bohème) and Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor). Since 2004, he has appeared at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, La Scala in Milan, the opera houses of Dallas, Paris and San Francisco, Covent Garden, the Wiener Staatsoper and the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. In recent seasons he has sung in La bohème at Covent Garden and Zurich; Un ballo in maschera at La Scala and in Tokyo (in a tour with the Teatro Regio in Turin); La traviata in Oviedo and Barcelona; Attila in Shanghai, Madama Butterfly at the Opéra Bastille; I puritani in Bilbao; Andrea Chénier in Naples; Lucia di Lammermoor and Francesca di Rimini at La Scala; Pagliacci and Macbeth at the Teatro Regio; L’elisir d’amore and La forza del destino at the Opéra de Paris; La Gioconda at the Liceu in Barcelona; Nabucco at the Teatro Real in Madrid and Simon Boccanegra at the Teatro Massimo of Palermo. He has sung under the direction of the best conductors, including Nicola Luisotti, Daniel Oren, Zubin Mehta and Riccardo Muti.
The 2022/23 season of the dramatic spinto soprano Irina Moreva began at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo with the role of Abigail in Nabucco. In June 2022 she made a successful debut as Andrea Chénier’s Maddalena at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. Her 2019/20 season opened with a resounding performance at the Teatro Verdi in Salerno, where she played Leonora in Il trovatore under the direction of Daniel Oren. She made her debut a little later in Aida in a new production at the Mikhailovsky Theatre St Petersburg directed by Alexander Vedernikov. Irina Moreva’s international career was launched in February 2019 at Tel Aviv Opera with the role of Amelia from Un ballo in maschera conducted by Daniel Oren. At the Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow, she has performed as Nedda in Pagliacci, Micaëla in Carmen, Salome in Massenet’s Herodiade, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, Iolanta, Jaroslavna in Prince Igor and Zemfira in Rachmaninov’s Aleko. She trained with Badri Maisuradze at the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Center in Moscow.
Born into a musical family in New York, John Fiore entered the professional music world at the Seattle Opera at the age of 14. Here he gained an excellent reputation as a pianist and coach, including the annual repeat performance of Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen. He continued his studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester and went on to become one of the most sought-after assistants for the three major opera companies in North America: the San Fracisco Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera and the Met in New York. Taking the musical direction of Gounod’s Faust in 1986 at the San Francisco Opera marked the beginning of his career as a conductor. This was followed by numerous invitations to conduct in North America, Europe and Australia, including the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Semperoper in Dresden, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the Royal Swedish Opera and the Grand Théâtre de Genève. From 1999 to 2009 he was Principal Conductor of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, working with the companies of the two neighbouring Rhine cities of Düsseldorf and Duisburg. In addition to this position, he is also Music Director of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker. From 2009 to 2015 he was also the artistic and musical director of the Norske Opera & Ballett. In the symphonic realm, he has distinguished himself at the helm of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
In search of a rigorous aesthetic and conceptual unity for a theater founded on all the arts, Stefano Poda has always developed his own language by combining the functions of director, set and costume designer, lighting designer, as well as choreographer. In 2019, he received the Claude Rostand Prize for his production of Ariane et Barbe-Bleue by Dukas at the Capitole de Toulouse. He has directed more than 100 productions worldwide, including: Rusalka (2022) at the Toulouse National Opera; the new production of Tosca (2021) at the Bolshoi in Moscow; Nabucco for the opening of the National Theatre of Korea in 2021 and at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (2020/22); Romeo and Juliet (2018) at the National Center for Performing Arts in Beijing; Boris Godunov (2017) and Andrea Chénier (2015) at the Korean National Opera; Antônio Carlos Gomes’ Fosca and Mahler’s Titan at the São Paulo Municipal Theater (2016); L’elisir d’amore in Strasbourg (2016); Otello in Budapest (2015); Tristan und Isolde at the opening of the 77th Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. His Faust (2015), Turandot (2018) and Thaïs at the Teatro Regio in Turin, have been shown in cinemas around the world. Recent projects include: the opening of the Verona Arena Centennial Festival in the summer of 2023 with the new production of Verdi’s Aida, broadcast worldwide; the opening of the Rossini Festival in Pesaro 2023 with the first modern performance in the critical edition of Eduardo e Cristina; the launch of the 2023/24 season of the Teatro Regio in Turin with Halévy’s La Juive; Enesco’s Oedipus at the 2023 Enesco Festival in Bucharest.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Ariodante and Faust (2016), Lucia de Lammermoor (2017), Les Contes d’Hoffmann (2019), Alcina (2022) and Norma (2023).
Born in La Laguna, on the island of Tenerife, Airam Hernández studied French horn at the Conservatorio Superior de Tenerife and then voice at the Conservatorio del Liceu in Barcelona. He began his career on the stage of the Opernhaus in Zurich, first as a member of the Opernstudio and then as a member of the soloist ensemble. He took part in the resurrection of Franz Liszt’s recently rediscovered opera Sardanapalo with the Staatskapelle Weimar and sang the title roles in two world premieres: that of Enrico Caruso in Caruso a Cuba by Micha Hamel and that of Federico García Lorca in El Abrecartas by Luis de Pablo at the Teatro Real in Madrid. His international career has taken him to the stages of the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, the Dallas Opera, the LAC in Lugano, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, La Fenice in Venice or the Philharmonie de Paris, working with conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Teodor Currentzis, Giovanni Antonini, Nello Santi, James Conlon, Marco Armiliato, Ivor Bolton, Stéphane Denève, Kirill Karabits, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Jesús López Cobos, as well as directors such as Barrie Kosky, Robert Wilson, Jürgen Flimm, David Pountney, Laurent Pélly, Robert Carsen and Stefano Poda. This summer he made his debut as Rodolfo (La bohème) in Pamplona and as Master Peter in Manuel de Falla’s El Retablo de Maese Pedro at the Teatro Real in Madrid under the baton of Pablo Heras-Casado; he also played the roles of Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) in Palermo and Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor) at the Oper Köln. His projects notably include playing Grigori (Boris Godunov), Leicester (Maria Stuarda) and Erik (Der fliegende Holländer).
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Lucia de Lammermoor (2017).
Nicolas Courjal studied with Jane Berbié and is now continuing his training with Didier Laclau-Barrère. After a stint with the Opéra-Comique and Wiesbaden troupes, he has performed at the Opéra Bastille, the Théâtre du Châtelet and the main French theatres, in Venice, Macerata, Seville, Covent Garden, Japan, the Chorégies d’Orange, Geneva, Monte-Carlo, Lausanne, Moscow, La Scala in Milan and the Opéra Royal de Wallonie. He can be heard with Antoine Palloc in recitals. As a soloist, he shares the stage with the great French orchestras, the Moscow Tchaikovsky Orchestra, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia of Rome, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductors such as Alain Altinoglu, Serge Baudo, James Conlon, Myung-Whun Chung and Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Michel Plasson, Antonio Pappano, Pascal Rophée, Leonard Slatkin, John Eliott Gardiner, François-Xavier Roth, Raphaël Pichon, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Marc Minkowski, Mikko Franck, John Nelson and Michael Tilson-Thomas. At the Opéra de Paris, he recently made his mark in Alcina. Nicolas Courjal has appeared in several works in Marseille, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, La Monnaie in Brussels, in Monte-Carlo, Toulouse, Rouen, Strasbourg, Oslo and at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, in the grand roles written by Verdi, Berlioz, Gounod, Massenet, Wagner, Meyerbeer, Boito, or Donizetti.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Les contes d’Hoffmann (2019).
French mezzo-soprano Marie Karall has won several awards and first prizes in singing competitions, including the Concours de Clermont-Ferrand, the Concours du Centre français de promotion lyrique and the New York International Opera Auditions. She also holds degrees in law and literature. She has performed on the stages of many French opera houses (Opéra national de Bordeaux, Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, Opéra de Lille, Opéra de Rouen…) as well as abroad. Among the roles she has held are Federica in Luisa Miller at the Opéra de Lausanne; Mallika in Lakmé at the Opéra national de Montpellier; the Mother, the Chinese Cup and the Dragongly in L’Enfant et les sortilèges at the Liederhalle in Stuttgart; Catherine in Jeanne au bûcher at the Opéra national de Lyon and at the Festival Enesco in Romania. She has played Fenena in Nabucco at the Avenches Arena. She has also taken part in concerts at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (arias of Eboli, Don Carlos), at the Chorégies d’Orange (Azucena’s aria, Il trovatore), as well as in Turkey at the Ancient Theatre of Aspendos (Verdi gala), in Avenches (Dalila’s aria, Samson et Dalila…). More recently, she has sung the role of Carmen at the Latvian National Opera, at the Hong Kong Opera in 2018, and at the Theater Winterthur in 2020. She has appeared as Perichole at the Opéra d’Avignon in 2019 and as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at the Opéra national du Rhin in 2021. She performed in Liège and at the Musikverein in Graz in 2022.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Norma (2011) and Luisa Miller (2014).
Born in France, tenor Maxence Billiemaz began singing in Paris with the Manécanterie des Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois. He continued his musical studies at the Haute école de musique de Genève in Stuart Patterson’s class. He has appeared on stage as Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), Bastien (Bastien und Bastienne) and Demo (Il Giasone). He also participated in the recording of Ascanio by Camille Saint-Saëns at the Grand Théâtre de Genève and has performed in musicals, playing Bill Calhoun in Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate and Clifford Bradshaw in John Kander’s Cabaret. He sings as a soloist in ensembles such as La Cappella Mediterranea, the Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne, the Chœur de Chambre de Namur and Les Talens Lyriques.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Les Chevaliers de la Table ronde (Route Lyrique 2019), Dédé (Route Lyrique 2021), Werther (2022) and My Fair Lady (2022).
French soprano Nuada Le Drève studied with Frédéric Gindraux and Jean-Philippe Clerc at the Haute école de musique de Lausanne and with Rainer Trost at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. She perfected her skills in master classes given by Jennifer Larmore, Véronique Gens, Alexia Cousin, Hedwig Fassbender, Marie-Claude Chappuis, Matthias Lademann and Stéphane McLeod. She won an award from the Centre français de promotion lyrique in 2019 and the Prix Jeune Talent at the Béziers International Competition in 2022. During the 2022/23 season, she is the Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte conducted by Pierre Bleuse in Sion and La Fiancée in Stravinsky’s Les Noces conducted by Daniel Reuss.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Pinocchio (2023).
The Opéra de Lausanne Choir is young, made up of students of singing from Lausanne’s University of Music and the Geneva HEM, and professional singers. Its members are selected by audition and periodically reheard. For each opera, they are distributed depending on their voice and/or aptitudes. Thanks mainly to their talent on stage, supported by an infectious enthusiasm, they are highly appreciated by all the theatre directors invited. For a few years the choir has benefitted from preparation by several experienced choir masters from different backgrounds, chosen depending on the works being sung and their specific interest.
rained at the Conservatoire d’Aix-en-Provence, where he began his career under the baton of Darius Milhaud, Patrick Marie Aubert obtained a first prize in orchestral conducting in the class of Pierre Villette. He also won a prize for singing, a prize for lyric art and a prize for chamber music. He was a professor of the choral singing class and then director of the Léo Delibes Conservatory in Clichy, artistic director of the Vox Hominis vocal ensemble, musical director of the Divertimento orchestra and conductor of the choirs of the Nantes Opera. Conductor of the French Army Choir until 2000, he has participated for nearly twenty years in major national events and has conducted numerous concerts in France and abroad. He was the conductor of the Chœur du Capitole de Toulouse from 2003 to 2009, then director of the Chœur de l’Opéra national de Paris from 2009 to 2014. He has collaborated with conductors Maurizio Arena, Serge Baudo, Roberto Benzi, Marc Minkowski, Evelino Pidò, Michel Plasson, Georges Prêtre, Yutaka Sado, Jeffrey Tate… and directors Robert Carsen, Georges Lavaudant, Jorge Lavelli, Laurent Pelly, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Olivier Py, Robert Wilson…
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Orpheus and Eurydice (2019), The Tales of Hoffmann (2019), the exceptional concert of the Opera de Lausanne Choir (2020), Little Red Riding Hood (2021), Candide (2022), Le domino noir (2023)
Born in Turin, Paolo Giani Cei has been assisting Stefano Poda all over the world since 2008 in the areas of staging, sets, costumes and lighting, basing his work on a theater that merges all the arts. He worked on the production of Tristan und Isolde conducted by Zubin Mehta for the opening of the 77th edition of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, as well as – as a dramaturge – on Titan, a choreographic show based on Mahler’s First Symphony presented by the National Dance Company of São Paulo, and Fosca by Antônio Carlos Gomes at the Municipal Theater of São Paulo. In recent years, he has directed Madama Butterfly, La traviata, I Capuleti e i Montecchi, La bohème, Cenerentola and Don Giovanni at the Teatro Verdi in Padua, La Voix humaine at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and in 2021, Die lustige Wittwe at the Teatro Mario del Monaco in Treviso. As an assistant, he is working on Tosca at the Bolshoi in 2021, Nabucco at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires in 2020/22, Ariadne and Bluebeard at the Capitole in Toulouse in 2019, Turandot and Faust at the Teatro Regio in Turin in 2018 and 2015, Otello at the National Opera in Budapest in 2015, Boris Godunov and Andrea Chénier at the National Opera in Korea in 2017 and 2015, and La forza del destino at the Parma Verdi Festival in 2014.