Stephen Mead AKA “Grimoaldo” saw his first opera aged six when his mother took him to see “Lucia di Lammermoor” because she is Scottish and the opera has a Scottish subject and she could get reduced price tickets because the company was using our church hall as a rehearsal space. He fell in love with the form then and has been a devoted opera goer ever since, attending many hundreds of live performances at many European and American opera houses. He is a fanatical devotee of the operas of Handel and Verdi and also enjoys operetta and many lesser-known French operas. For years he worked in England as a lecturer in adult education on the history of opera and classical music and also gave per-performance talks for operas being performed in London.

Captivating in Babylon

Verdi’s first operatic masterpiece, Nabucco (originally Nabucodonosor) is well served by this DVD of a performance from the Teatro Regio di Parma, part of the admirable edition of the complete Verdi operas “Tutto Verdi” to mark the great musical dramatist’s bicentenary next year.

A lot of the credit must go to the young conductor Michele Mariotti, who leads a superb musical performance from the first-rate orchestra and chorus, with an excellent cast of singers. From the splendid account of the famous overture to the final bars, Mariotti finds all the vigor and energy, the lyrical inspiration and the powerful emotion that make the music of Nabucco so special.   Read more »