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The Opera of Biblical Proportions: Nabucco Makes MOT Debut October 17-24, 2009 at the Detroit Opera House

Detroit, MI, September 19, 2009 --( Michigan Opera Theatre opens its 39th opera season entitled “Loves and Lies” with Giuseppe Verdi’s exotic and heart-rending Nabucco in a limited three performance engagement October 17-24, 2009 at the Detroit Opera House. This will mark the first time in Michigan Opera Theatre history that the company will present the work and the first time in nearly 50 years that the opera will be staged in Michigan.

A Biblical love triangle in four acts, the opera will be sung in Italian with English supertitles projected above the stage. Nabucco was Verdi’s first major success and, since its debut in March 1842, quickly established him as one of the most respected and beloved composers of his generation. The opera is most well known for its chorus, “Va, pensiero,” the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, which became famous as the unofficial anthem to unite the nation of Italy during the 19th century and for many years was the only encore the Metropolitan Opera would allow.

The Biblical opera, set in 6th century BC Jerusalem and Babylon, incorporates vengeance, unrequited love, and heroism - all in four acts. A dangerous love triangle between the oppressive King Nabucco’s two daughters, Abigaille and Fenena, and the nephew of the King of Jerusalem, Ismaele, spurs a whirlwind of tragic events including Godly punishments and deadly trickery.

The opera will feature returning MOT artists including Italian baritone Marco di Felice as Nabucco, who performed in last year’s La Traviata, as Germont. Turkish bass Burak Bilgili, who was seen in last season’s The Elixir of Love, will perform the role of Zaccaria.

Nabucco will also include the MOT debuts of other artists as well. Among these debuts, Italian soprano Francesca Patanè, who is known for taking on difficult soprano roles in Macbeth and Turandot, will appear in the challenging role of Abigaille while American soprano Carla Dirlikov, who recently made her European debut in Verdi's Don Carlo, will appear as Fenena. Tenor Noah Stewart, who can be seen in the role of Ismaele, recently performed in La Tragédie de Carmen at the Chicago Opera Theater this past spring.

Nabucco will be conducted by Maestro Steven Mercurio, who last conducted La Rondine (2008), Porgy & Bess (2006), and La Bohéme (2005) for MOT. The opera will be staged by Italian director Mario Corradi who last directed Madame Butterfly (2008) with the company. Sets designed by Roberto Oswald and costumes designed by Anibal Lapiz will be provided by Baltimore Opera Company.

Ticket prices range from $29 - $121. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Detroit Opera House box office (1526 Broadway, Detroit), by calling 313-237-SING, or online at Tickets may also be purchased at, at any Ticketmaster outlet or by calling 800-745-3000.

at the Detroit Opera House

Saturday, October 17, 2009 7:30pm
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 7:30pm
Saturday, October 24, 2009 7:30pm


Michigan Opera Theatre, a non-profit organization, is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and provides programs and services without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, or handicap. Michigan Opera Theatre is supported by private donations, foundation and corporate grants, the State of Michigan through the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal Agency.
Contact Information
Michigan Opera Theatre
Rebekah Johnson

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