Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Nabucco encores at Palace Cineplex on Sunday

Published:Friday | January 13, 2017 | 12:00 AM
From left: John Waite, Sheila Waite, Joan Stone and Emma Crooks at the Live in HD performance of Nabucco at Carib 5 last Saturday.
Plácido Domingo (centre) in the title role of Verdi's Nabucco.

The Met: Live in HD's transmission on Saturday, January 7, of Verdi's Nabucco, starring Placido Domingo, took in an estimated attendance of 88,032 persons in North America. It was seen live on more than 900 screens and earned a gross of US$1.94 million. An estimated 115,000 people saw it live on 800 screens in 37 countries in Europe, 11 countries in Latin America, Russia, Egypt, Israel, Jamaica and Morocco.

Nabucco encores at Palace Cineplex this Sunday, January 15, at 11:30 a.m.

Delayed showings of Nabucco throughout Asia, Australia, Madagascar, New Zealand and South Africa, and encore performances in North America and Europe, are expected to boost worldwide attendance to more than 285,000.

Opera fans attending the LIVE in HD transmission last Saturday at Carib 5 had high praises for Verdi's masterpiece. Notably, they praised performances by Pl·cido Domingo in a new baritone role as Nabucco (or Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon); bass Dmitri Belosselskiy, who sang the role of Zaccaria, High Priest of the Israelites; and soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska as Abigaille, the warrior slave determined to rule.




Also an accomplished musician and conductor, Pl·cido Domingo's reputation as a singer always precedes him and, as with most of his other appearances at the Met, Nabucco was sold out. Perhaps the most poignant scene of the opera and testament to Domingo's skill and expertise is in Act 4 when, after having gone mad and wandering in the wilderness, he sees his precious daughter, Fenena, being led to her death. He submits to God in supplication, flat on his stomach and (at 75 years old) belts out an entire aria Dio di Giuda (God of Judah). He begs for forgiveness and promises to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and convert to Judaism if his prayers are answered.

Music director emeritus James Levine conducted the Met orchestra at its beguiling best. True to expectations, after resounding and prolonged applause to the most fabulous aria in Nabucco, Va pensiero (Fly, Thought, on Golden Wings) in Act 3, the capacity audience of 3,800 people watching live at the Met in New York, and another well over 100,000 viewers in cinemas worldwide, were treated to an encore of the stirring and emotive aria. It is sung by the chorus of Hebrew slaves. In Verdi's day, 'Va pensiero' became a rallying call for Italian patriots determined to free their motherland from Austrian rule.

While the success of an opera of Nabucco's magnitude is the collaborative effort of the entire cast and crew, the impact of the two septuagenarians, Pl·cido Domingo and long-time collaborator James Levine, cannot be overstated.

The cast also includes Jamie Barton as Fenena and Russell Thomas as Ismaele. The live transmission was hosted by Eric Owens and directed for cinema by Barbara Willis Sweete.

The Met: Live in HD, the Met's award-winning series of live transmissions to cinemas and performing arts centres around the world, has expanded its worldwide distribution to more than 2,000 cinemas in 70 countries this season. It has sold more than 21 million tickets since its inception in 2006.

Nabucco was the fourth of 10 live transmissions to be shown this season. The next transmission will be on Saturday, January 21, featuring Bartlett Sher's new production of Romeo et Juliette, starring Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo in the title roles. Maestro Gianandrea Noseda conducts.

Tickets are available at the box office of the Carib 5, or online at www.palaceamuse with a Palace Card or any major credit card.