There is an opera by Giuseppe Verdi, less famous than others, which is worth rediscovering and explaining. This is the Grand Opera: The Lombards at the first crusade.
This opera, on a libretto by Temistocle Solera, was staged at the Teatro alla Scala on 11 February 1843.
It is the fourth opera by Giuseppe Verdi and was proposed immediately after Nabucco.
This opera was so important to Verdi that he adapted it for the French in a new version entitled “Jerusalem” which was presented in Paris on November 26, 1847 at the Opera national de Paris.
The work takes place in 4 acts. It is a difficult intertwining of loves, jealousies, struggles and conversions.
The Opera is set in 1097 and starts from the Basilica of St. Ambrose, to move in the second act to Antioch, a city in present-day Turkey on the border with Syria and near the shores of the Mediterranean. In the third act we move to the valley of Josaphat which is a valley located between the old city of Jerusalem and the mount of olives. In the fourth and final act, Jerusalem falls into the hands of the Crusaders.
It is precisely in the fourth act that the choral piece, “O Lord from the native roof” is sung.
The song is a sung prayer, in fact in that combat reality the Lombards pray to the Lord remembering the fresh air, the nature and the peace of their beloved land of Lombardy.
For those like me who are Lombard, it is impossible not to pause for a moment to learn about the existence of this work and the Verdi hymn to the “Land of Lombardy”.
Un abbraccio/ a big Hug