Gergely Kesselyák is a man of many talents. A conductor of the Hungarian State Opera, and previously its Principal Music
Director, he also heads the Bartók Plusz Opera Festival and has directed multiple operas. His new interpretation of Verdi’s
Nabucco was premiered at the National Theatre of Miskolc in February 2013, with the Csokonai Theatre in Debrecen taking up
the production later. Now it is coming to the Erkel Theatre, retiring András Mikó’s beloved but worn 30-year-old scenery.
At age 27, Verdi resolved to never write opera again. He was at a low point in his life, both professionally and personally: His comic
opera, Un giorno di regno, had failed, and around the same time he had to bury his two young children, and then his wife.
After some convincing by his agent, he read Solera’s libretto, Nabucco, and by spring of 1942, all of Milan was humming “Va,
pensiero...” The central point of the opera stands at a historical crossroads: value systems are changing and life is coming under
the control of interrelationships starkly contasting previously in place. In the crosshairs of this conflict between vanquisher and
vanquished unfolds a family drama in which the music of the Italian master leads the listener through the entire range of possible
emotions. When performed, the work lifts the story out of the biblical era and places it into the realm of the cosmic.
“Nabucco is first and foremost about faith, not only faith in God, but the faith we place in each other,” Kesselyák has stated.
“If we do not waste our energy hurting each other and struggling with God, then we realise we are capable of miracles.
‘Serving God, you will become the king of kings.’ – This is the opera’s final and most important sentence.”