Verdi's first great success, Nabucco was written when the composers was just 29 years old but already experincing a period of great tribulation in his life. The opera has well and truly transcended the circumstances of its creation to become inexorably linked with Verdi's name and it contains one his his greatest and most memorable tunes, "Va, pensiero," (Fly, my thoughts). This chorus (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) has become something of an unofficial national anthem in Italy, and it was this song which crowds of mourners spontaneously started singing when Verdi's funeral procession passed through the streets of Rome in 1901. There is a lot more to Nabucco than just that famous chorus, of course. The role of Nabucco runs the gamut of emotions, arrogance, love, madness and the humility of one man's faith in the the God of the Hebrews. The music may not be the most individualistic in Verdi's ouevre, yet it expresses these themes in a very effective way.