Georgian singer George Gagnidze is leading a six-show bill of opera classic Nabucco at the Deutsche Oper Berlin alongside star performers including Robert Watson and Maria Guleghina.
The baritone is cast in the principal role and flanked by Watson, an American tenor, as Ismaele and Guleghina - called "the most important soprano drammatico d’agilita of her generation" by critic Enrico Stinchelli - who plays Abigaille.
Also involving bass John Relyea as Zaccaria, the production by Keith Warner "focuses on the opposing natures of two nations", the Berlin theatre said.
[The staging is set around] the modern Hebrews, whose culture is informed by a script and by education as a democratic ideal, and the militaristic Babylonians, whose concept of a state is founded in autocratic rule" - Deutsche Oper Berlin
Staged in four parts, Warner's production first premiered at the German venue in 2013, with the original classic by Verdi debuting in Milan back in 1842.
The "dramatic tale of Israelite subjugation under the Babylonian yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar" (Deutsche Oper Berlin) is set in the timeline of a transition from feudalism to the early stages of the modern society.
The bill for the two-hour, 45-minute opera opened at the capital city's theatre on Sunday, with each show preceded by a lecture on the staging for interested opera-goers.
Five more performances will showcase the quality of the work done by Warner, stage designer Tilo Steffens, costume designer Julia Müer and chorus master Jeremy Bines at the theatre, with performances strung out between Wendesday and 13 June 2020, when the Deutsche Oper's ongoing season concludes.
For Gagnidze, the immediate Berlin performances will be followed by appearances at the Washington National Opera for Otello, a Teatro San Carlo bill of Tosca and an evening of the same classic at the Metropolitan Opera.