I Lombardi alla prima Crociata



Libretto by Temistocle SOLERA

New production

  • Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège
  • Fondazione Teatro Regio de Turin

For the first time at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège !


The story

Pagano, in love with his brother Arvino’s wife, mistakenly kills his father. He exiles himself in the Holy Land and vows never to love again. In the disguise of a hermit, he helps the crusaders, led by Arvino, to conquer Antioch, whose tyrannical ruler has imprisoned his daughter, before freeing Jerusalem. With victory assured thanks to the mysterious but injured hermit, Pagano reveals his true identity. He admits his crime and dies forgiven.

After Nabucco

In the wake of the triumph enjoyed with Nabucco, Verdi composed another work with a patriotic aura for La Scala in Milan in 1843, namely I Lombardi. The story tells of a terrible family history that expresses the love rivalries of two brothers set to the context of the First Crusade. In addition to the magnificent arias and duos, the choir, who play the crusaders, sing new hymns which soon became the symbol of the Risorgimento. The composer increasingly took on the role of a major player in the unification and independence of Italy.

In 1847, Verdi was requested by the Opéra de Paris to produce a new opera. Tired by his many commitments, he was ready to refuse the invitation. Yet how can one refuse the call of Paris, a window to the whole wide world? He decided to rework I Lombardi, which at the time was unknown in Paris. The work, after a complete remodelling and drastic reduction in the plots, became Jerusalem, a French-style opera which was performed on our stage in 2017. In an oddity of history, Verdi retranslated the work into Italian under the name of Gerusalemme one month after its first performance in Paris!

Introduction to performances: curtain-raisers

All the opera performances are preceded by a practical introduction to the work that is open to all (as a curtain raiser).