The role of Abigail in Verdi’s Nabucco has been described as the graveyard for sopranos due to the demands it puts on the singer both technically and dramatically. It was with some trepidation, therefore, that I undertook this role in a concert version of the opera for Opera Nova in January 2015.
It was a wonderful experience and I relished the opportunity to play the part of a thoroughly unpleasant character who not only plots to overthrow her own father but nearly succeeds in having her ‘goody two-shoes’ sister executed for good measure! Of course, being opera, it all ends badly for Abigail and she ends up taking poison, begging forgiveness from everyone and dying – a great chance for one final great aria before finally expiring on stage.
Our first performance at Holy Trinity Church, Stockton, was so well received that we decided to give the opera another airing so in March we embarked on a joint venture inviting students from Collingwood College, Durham University, to join us. This concert, in March 2015 was also very well received and we hope we have forged some good links with the College with a view to doing other joint ventures in the future.