Behind the scenes: How we brought Nabucco to life in Dorset
Watch our trailer for a new production of Verdi’s biblical epic.
7 March 2013 at 5.27pm | Comment on this article
A gripping drama of war, passion and faith, Verdi’s Nabucco was a raging success when it was first performed in 1842. Telling the epic tale of the plight of the Israelites and their exile by the eponymous king, the opera is considered to have established Verdi’s reputation as a leading composer.
Daniele Abbado’s powerful production, which was performed at La Scala earlier this season, explores themes of identity and exile.
‘The trailer explores the connection between people and the place they see as home,’ explains trailer director Tom Turner.
To produce the film, a small crew – including family and friends filling in as Israelites – braved the wild and wintery conditions of Portland Bill, a rocky promontory on the Dorset coast owned by the Crown Estate.
‘It’s a disused quarry and the structural form of the rocks reminded me of the stones in the set design,’ says Tom. ‘The outside facade of the Royal Opera House was also built using Portland limestone, which is a nice connection as it emphasizes this sense of going back to your roots.’
An epic drama in every sense of the word, Nabucco features an enormous chorus that sing iconic choral works including ‘Immenso jehova’ and ‘Va pensiero’, the unofficial national anthem of Italy.
‘Some of the landscape shots just support the music to give the sense of scale and power,’ added Tom. The final shot in particular conveys the size and diversity of the chorus. ‘There were only four of us, and so we had to do multiple takes with costume changes and then rely on some innovative editing!’
Nabucco runs from 30 March – 26 April 2013. Tickets are still available. It will also be shown delayed live in cinemas on 29 April.
The production is generously sponsored by Rolex. Generous philanthropic support from Mrs Susan A Olde OBE, Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, Martin and Jane Houston and the Verdi Syndicate.