es  |  eus  |  en  |  fr
Follow us
logo_facebook logo_twitter instagram podcast logo_contacta
you are in > Opera > Attila


Giuseppe Verdi


Saturday      November 22, 2014 8:00 PM
Tuesday November 25, 2014 8:00 PM
Friday November 28, 2014    8:00 PM
Monday December 1, 2014 8:00 PM

Sponsored by



  Attila Ildebrando D’Arcangelo  
  Foresto Roberto Aronica  
  Odabella Anna Smirnova*  
  Ezio Ángel Ódena  
  Uldino Eduardo Ituarte  
  Leone David Aguayo  
    Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi  
    Coro de Ópera de Bilbao  
  Music Director Francesco Ivan Ciampa *  
  Scene Director Ruggero Raimondi *  
  Director of the Chorus Boris Dujin  
  Production Opéra Roya de Wallonie, Opéra de Monte-Carlo  
  *Debuting at ABAO-OLBE    


Ildebrando D´Arcangelo

Roberto Aronica

Anna Smirnova



Artistic Record
Videography and phonography
La génesis de Attila
Las invasiones bárbaras


Dossier Attila (ES)

A dramma lirico in a prologue and three acts,
with a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and Temistocle Solera,
and music by Giuseppe Verdi

Attila (bass)
Odabella (soprano)
Foresto (tenor)
Ezio (baritone)
Uldino (tenor)
Leone (bass)

The action takes place in the Italian Peninsula, in 452 A.D.


First scene. The Piazza in Aquileia, just before dawn. Attila, at the head of the Huns, has conquered the city of Aquileia. The Huns invoke their gods and fall prostrate before their victorious King. Uldino, a slave of Attila's, comes before the King with a group of women prisoners. At their head is Odabella, a Roman woman who praises Italian women's courage when it comes to defending their country. Impressed by her warrior-like ardour, Attila grants her a boon. She asks for a sword and the King bestows upon her his own. As Odabella receives it she vows to take revenge upon the opressor.
The prisoners leave with the Hunnic men, and Uldino announces to Attila the arrival of Ezio, the General sent as Rome's envoy. Ezio outlines the Empire's situation, and suggests to Attila a secret pact: the Huns get the empire in return for giving him Italy. Attila labels Ezio a traitor to his country and the two men do battle with one another.


Second scene. In the lagoons of the Adriatic Sea. Some hermits emerge from their cells following the storm that raged during the night and praise the Lord. Boats arrive carrying survivors from Aquileia—men, women and children—led by youthful Foresto, whom they look upon as their saviour. Foresto, however, is concerned for his sweetheart Odabella, Attila's prisoner. As the rising sun lifts the survivors' spirits, Foresto invites them to found a new city on the islets of the laguna.


Act I
First scene. In a forest near Attila's camp, Odabella laments her father's death. At that moment, she sees an apparition of her beloved Foresto in a cloud. Hearing footfalls, she recognizes the voice of Foresto who, oblivious of danger, has come to her rescue. Foresto, however, finding her unfettered, mistrusts her: he believes she's given herself to Attila; but she alludes to the biblical Judith's revenge upon Holophernes, and explains to him her true intentions. Finally the pair embrace, united in the hope of avenging themselves.


Second scene. In Attila's tent the King, startled out of a dream, describes to his servant Uldino the frightful scene that awoke him: at the gates of Rome, an old man barred his way and spoke these words: "Your sole enterprise has been to chastise mortals; but stop now, since this is the kingdom of the gods." Pulling himself together, Attila rallies his men for a new victory.


Third scene. In Attila's camp singing is heard as a procession of women and children approaches. They are carrying palm fronds, and at their head is the Bishop of Rome, Leone—the same old man as appeared to Attila in his dream. Leone speaks the very same words, and Attila fancies he can see two gigantic figures with flashing eyes and swords standing in his path. The King of the Huns drops onto his knees, to his men's surprise.


Act II
First scene. In Ezio's camp, the Roman General reads out a message from youthful Emperor Valentinian: an armistice has been signed with the Huns and he must return to Rome. Ezio despairs at the empire's decadence compared with its glorious past. Servants of Attila's arrive to invite him to a banquet. One of them lingers after the others have left. It's Foresto, who exhorts him to have his legionaries at the ready to set upon the Huns during the feast. Ezio is excited at the thought of avenging his country and regaining its lost honour. Should he die in the attempt, he'll go down in history as the Last of the Romans.


Second scene. In Attila's camp the Huns are preparing the banquet. A trumpet call announces the arrival of the Romans, and Attila bids the General welcome. The Druids caution the King against sitting next to his former enemies. Attila commands the priestesses to sing and play their lyres. When the singing is over, a strong gust of wind extinguishes the torchlight. Ezio repeats his suggestion to Attila, who turns him down again. Foresto explains to Odabella that Uldino will bring a poisoned goblet for Attila. As the King lifts it to his lips, Odabella stops him—to the surprise of Foresto, who thinks she's two-timed him. The King is about to kill him, but Odabella claims the right to punish the traitor. Attila agrees; and as a reward for saving his life, he promises to marry her and make her his queen. Odabella urges Foresto to flee, while he—not yet recovered from his surprise—hopes to be able to avenge himself soon. The Huns clamour for a return to war, to do away with the treacherous Romans.


In a forest near the camp, Foresto is waiting for Uldino, who is to let him know at what time Attila and Odabella are to be wed; once again, he laments Odabella’s betrayal of him. Ezio arrives and explains to Foresto that his men are ready to ambush the Huns. The singing of the wedding party is heard in the distance. Odabella appears, wearing a royal cape and crown, and imploring her father's spirit to forgive her for agreeing to marry the man who killed him. Foresto confronts her, accusing her of betrayal, while she protests her innocence. Attila enters in search of his bride. Finding her with Foresto and Ezio, he accuses her too of treason. Odabella reminds him that he killed her father. Shouts are heard as the Huns are caught off guard by the Romans. Foresto is about to kill Attila, but Odabella fatally wounds him, invoking her dead father's memory. Attila slumps to the ground as the Romans claim a new victory.