I had the rare privilege to attend the marvelous opera Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi at the fabulous Tbilisi Opera House. It’s one of those old world European style stunners of a place as you’ll see from some of my photos of the evening. Nabucco is about the story of King Nebuchadnezzar from the book of Jeremiah. It was presented by the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre. A remarkable fact is that this opera company first produced Nabucco for their 1859-1860 season. The American Civil War hadn’t even begun yet. And here I am, in 2022, coming out of two years of pandemic enjoying this Verdi masterpiece in a truly remarkable place.
A few notes from my programme caught my eye. Nabucco was Verdi’s third opera. His second one was a failure and he was determined to never write operas again. How many writers and composers have been there? It took him five months to be convinced to take the libretto and try to compose for it. In his own words, “I took it home, and threw it on the table violently …” He was not optimistic. He persevered and composed it, and it became “a real watershed in Verdi’s creative life.” Again in his own words, Verdi writes, “My real artistic career started with this opera. And though I had many difficulties to fight with, one thing is certain, Nabucco was indeed born under a lucky star.”
And there you have it from an opera master. You do need talent. You do need perseverance. But even that sometimes isn’t enough. You sometimes need a lucky star to help the writer break out to career success. But the thing to remember is this: without the perseverance, the lucky star would not have appeared.
I was encouraged by these words and inspired by this opera. It’s a joy to see opera and ballet troupes still performing these classics and please try to support it whenever you can. You never know, you might just get inspired to compose something under your lucky star.