Australian Nabucco Puts Saddam Hussein in King's Role

Classic Arts News   Australian Nabucco Puts Saddam Hussein in King's Role
A new Opera Australia production of Verdi's Nabucco changes the role of the tyrant king from Nebuchadnezzar to Saddam Hussein, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

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."

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