Thought is the One Thing Free to Roam, Spirit can Grow Strong

Mauro da Budelli

Thought is like the sea,” says Bologna-native musician Lucio Dalla, “You cannot block or fence it in.”# The human spirit is resilient and we can rebuild… better. Like all artists and musicians International Opera Choir – International Symphonic Lyric Choir has suspended activities to comply with various decrees.

In a note companion to the video, they say (translation mine):

Therefore we opened the doors of our virtual rehearsal room that each of us 'reaches' with the means available, equipped with smartphones and voice, to hear and feel close to each other through Music.

And if it is true that the Chorus of Jewish slaves, commonly called “Va’, Pensiero,” in Verdi's view is a mirror of the harassment Italians suffered  before the unification, today we feel a little like chained people who regret the Lost homeland and the freedom to live daily life as we used to do.

Va’, Pensiero, is part of our story, everyone can intone the first lines and the words automatically return to memory. It continues to be in the running as national anthem; many believe it can represent Italy better than any other song and remind us where we came from.

It's beautiful and humbling at the same time. Prepare to feel inspired, emotionally connected, and (hopefully) uplifted.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901) dominated the late 19th century. Because he understood the human voice and the internal conversation behind the characters he created. Verdi’s credits include Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, Aida, and La Traviata, the most popular.

The opera that became an instant hit, Va’, Pensiero, otherwise known as the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, is perhaps Verdi’s most beloved piece of his music.

Verdi wrote Nabucco, short for Nabucodonosor, after the failure of his second work, Un giorno di regno, King for a Day, and the deaths of his wife and young children.

He had vowed never to write another opera, but the impresario of the La Scala opera house, Bartolomeo Merelli, persuaded Verdi to look at another composer's rejected libretto. They were the right words at the right time.

Whether Verdi tried to evoke the plea of Italians suffering under Austrian rule with that of the Hebrews enslaved and sent into exile by King of Babylon deliberately or not, it resonated.

As the curtain fell on the final act at the conclusion of its premiere at La Scala on March 9, 1842, shouts of “Freedom for Italy,” came from members of the audience.# After many years of living in someone else’s land, it was easy to see why people wanted to reap what they saw.

[image of Mario da Budelli reading]


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