I started to explore Antwerpen by seeing the opera Nabucco, which is considered to have permanently established Verdi’s reputation as a composer, at the Vlaamse Opera. Oh what a
wonderful spectacle! And I totally understand why it is considered as one of the greatest operas written for the chorus.
Nabucco follows the plight of the Jews as they are assaulted, conquered and subsequently exiled from their homeland by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. The historical events are used as the background for a romantic and political plot and are represented in a modern age manner, literraly transcribing it to the situation as it would be today. The power of Babylonians, for instance, is set as it could be a presidential palace or a corporate headquarter and Nabucco could be the president of the country or one of a huge bank. Jews are represented as protestants against the state of the world in general. The director combined all worldwide protests that ocurred in the past two years, like Tahrir square in Cairo, with Occupied London or New Jork, the situation in Lybia, Syria, Greece or Spain, ... and by saying that the world nowadays is not right.
If you happen to be/ live in Antwerpen or Ghent, I recommend that you go to see this great piece of art and not just because my sister is playing the part of Fenena (Nabuco’s daughter)! Before you decide, you can check out this video that contains the inteviews with the director, conductor and one of the main actors: