18 February 2016 at 3.57pm | Comment on this article
As the singers discuss in this clip filmed during the production’s maiden run in 2013, the opera – a biblical epic telling the story of the power struggle between King Nabucco and his daughters and the exile of the Israelites – reflects Verdi’s genius in crafting rich and ever-evolving characters.
‘There are two operas for [Nabucco]’, says Domingo. ‘He’s one person until he gets hit by the lightening. God punishes him for being so arrogant as to say “I am not a king, I am a god”. And then in the second part he is very insecure. It’s very intense.’
Monastyrska’s character Abigaille is equally complex:
‘She’s very contradictory’, says the Ukrainian soprano. ‘Abigaille is constantly tormented and full of doubts. The fact that she wants power doesn’t mean she’s a bad person.’
The complexities of the character are mirrored in the technical complexity of the role, as Monastyrska explains: ‘I thought I wouldn’t succeed, I needed to practice over and over.
‘This isn’t a role for young singers. It should be sung by people who have gained some vocal mastery.’
Watch more films like this on the Royal Opera House YouTube channel:
Nabucco runs 19 June–13 July 2016. General booking opens on 12 April 2016.
The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from Rolex and The Friends of Covent Garden.
The production will be relayed live to BP Big Screens in the UK and streamed live around the world via YouTube on 9 June at 7.30pm (GMT). Find your nearest BP Big Screen and subscribe to our YouTube channel.