St Petersburg, Mariinsky Theatre


dramma lirico in a prologue and three acts

performed in Italian (the performance will have synchronised Russian supertitles)
Maria Guleghina and Ildar Abdrazakov in the opera



Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Temistocle Solera after Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias Werner’s tragedy Attila, König der Hunnen, revised by Francesco Maria Piave

Musical Director: Valery Gergiev
Director: Arturo Gama
Production Designer: Frank Philipp Schlößmann
Costume Designers: Frank Philipp Schlößmann and Hanne Loosen
Lighting Designer: Yevgeny Ganzburg
Lighting Adaptation for the Mariinsky II by Yevgeny Ganzburg, Kamil Kutyev
Video Graphics Designer: Alexander Logvinov
Musical Preparation: Alla Brosterman
Principal Chorus Master: Andrei Petrenko
Concert Masters: Tatiana Sinelnikova & Ilona Yansons
Chorus Masters: Pavel Petrenko & Dmitry Ralko
Italian language coach: Maria Nikitina


Aquileia and the Adriatic lagoons and the environs of Rome, circa mid 5th century.

As Attila and his warriors have triumphed over Italy, Attila’s prisoners include Odabella, the daughter of the ruler of Aquileia who fell on the battlefield. Odabella creates a great impression on Attila. He presents her with his sword and takes her into his entourage. Ezio, a Roman general, comes to parley with Attila, but the latter rejects his proposal. Meanwhile Foresto, Odabella’s betrothed, arrives at Rio-Alto and urges the refugees from Aquileia to build a new city – Venice.

Act I
Meeting Foresto, Odabella convinces him that she has not betrayed the Italian cause. She was merely awaiting an opportunity to settle accounts with the tyrant and kill him. Meanwhile, Attila is trying to shake off the memory of a nightmare he had the previous night: an imposing old man barred the Huns’ road to Rome. But his courage fails when the nightmare becomes a reality. Pope Leo enters the camp to prevent Attila’s advance on Rome. Attila recognises in him the old man from his dreams.

Act II
Foresto and Ezio, a guest at one of Attila’s banquets, lay plans for the defeat of the Huns. Foresto reveals that tonight the Huns’ leader is to be poisoned – the Roman warriors must be at the ready to attack the enemy camp at any moment. Sinister omens darken the atmosphere at the feast, and the king is only saved from being poisoned by Odabella’s intervention: unwilling to cede the right to revenge to anyone else, she warns Attila of the attempt on his life.
Attila declares that she shall be his bride the next day and then he will lead his warriors to Rome. Taking advantage of the general rejoicing, the girl urges Foresto, who has tried to poison Attila, to flee.

During the wedding ceremony, the Romans surround the Huns’ camp and, when they attack, Odabella stabs Attila.

Listen to a soundbite

World premiere: 17 March 1846, La Fenice, Venice
Premiere of this production: 13 July 2010, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg

Running time 2 hours 20 minutes
The performance has one interval

Age category 12+

Ildar Abdrazakov. Attila’s aria from Act I of Verdi’s eponymous opera.
Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra.
Conductor – Valery Gergiev.
Recorded on 13 July 2010.
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