Divertissements for

Divertissements for "Nabucco" revived for the first time

The Divertissements for Nabucco have not been performed since 1848. Twelve minutes of unheard Verdi's music.

They will be revived for the first time at Festival Verdi in Parma on 26 September 2021, in a concert by the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna conducted by Roberto Abbado. The Festival will also feature Un ballo in maschera, staged by Graham Vick, Simon Boccanegra and Messa da Requiem.

Notes about the Divertissements

For a production of Nabucco in French at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels in 1848, Giuseppe Verdi was asked to provide ballet music according to the conventions of French-language grand opéra. Verdi agreed and fulfilled the commission composing new music, which was inserted into Act 3, following the opening chorus. Whilst the existence of original ballet music for the Brussels production of Nabucco has been known for some time, a score has surfaced only recently, identified by Knud Arne Jürgensen among Verdi’s musical materials preserved at Villa Verdi at Sant’Agata. Although it is plausible that the divertissements originally consisted of three numbers, only two appear to have survived. They are about sixty pages of music, fully orchestrated and notated entirely in Verdi’s hand.

The present preliminary edition, edited by Knud Arne Jürgensen, is in preparation for the critical edition Works of Giuseppe Verdi / Opere di Giuseppe Verdi, co-published by Casa Ricordi and the University of Chicago Press. It draws rigorously on Verdi’s autograph manuscript, differentiating clearly between Verdi’s original notation and necessary editorial interventions aimed at equalising dynamics, phrasing, and articulation and at rectifying small imprecisions and omissions in Verdi’s score.

Francesco Izzo
General Editor of the critical edition 
Works of Giuseppe Verdi / Opere di Giuseppe Verdi

Go to Verdi's critical edition series


Image credits: L’immagine esclusiva del Festival è il ritratto di Giuseppe Verdi realizzato a matita da Renato Guttuso negli anni ’60,
donato al Teatro Regio di Parma dall’Archivio storico Bocchi e concesso da Fabio Carapezza Guttuso © Renato Guttuso by SIAE 2021