The opera opens on June 29 at the Sydney Opera House and runs through August 12, with baritone Michael Lewis in the title role.
David Freeman, director of the production, said, "The idea came from Saddam Hussein himself. He once portrayed himself as Nebuchadnezzar in a poster."
Freeman has also updated the plight of the Jews in the opera, making them Jews of the 1930s and '40s in order to connect them to contemporary anti-Semitism. "You can't do politics about yesterday's politics," he said. "Yesterday's politics wraps up the fish and chips. You have to make connections of the politics of the day."