David Serero is a French-born actor and baritone who has performed all over the world. He has filled iconic roles in both theater and opera, performing as Othello, Richard III, Don Giovanni, and Rigoletto, among many others.
This month, David Serero will be performing as Nabucco, the titular role in Giuseppe Verdi’s opera about the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. Nabucco will be playing at the Center for Jewish History starting this week, and prior to the show’s opening, David spoke with us about Nabucco, his career, and what it’s like to be back in New York City.
Tell me more about yourself, and how you came to the role of Nabucco.
As a baritone, this is a dream role. The composer, Giuseppe Verdi, has put all the heavy ingredients in this role. As a Jew, I’m also very connected to the role.
Do you think Nabucco is especially relevant right now? Why is the Center for Jewish History putting on this production?
Nabucco is forever relevant. It has politics, love, betrayal, jealousy, romance, ambition, religion, unity as a people…and more. I have taken the crazy challenge to bring opera and theatrical productions at the Center for Jewish History with the American Sephardi Federation in 2015. Each new season, I want to surpass myself and my audience with new works. For each new productions, I always want to bring the most creative and entertaining moment for their pleasure. Nabucco is a timeless opera that transcends generation for both opera and theater lovers as well as newcomers. My shows are always designed for both publics.
You have performed all over the world, including here in New York. How does it feel to be back in New York for the 2018/2019 season?
New York is my home. I love New York and the New Yorkers. This is the center of the world and I learn so much every day. This city is making me better every day and as a foreigner, I had to work harder than anyone, but it’s worth it! I have still so much to accomplish and this is only the beginning. I want to bring my culture and the plays such as Cyrano de Bergerac that I grew up with but also to take U.S. classics and add to it my little twist and my champagne! This season, I have some great surprises: Nabucco, Romeo and Juliet in a Jewish adaptation, and Marriage of Figaro by Mozart (Nozze di Figaro) in a world premiere adaptation. There will also be the U.S. Premiere of the musical Anne Frank that I’m bringing from France.
How does it feel to be returning to the role of Nabucco? Do you think it will be a different experience from your previous performance in 2016?
I have made so much progress since my last take on the role back in 2016. I have also a new amazing cast, so the audience’s relationship with the other characters is very different when the cast changes. Nabucco is such a heavy, powerful role that there is nothing for granted in it. That’s what I love: to take new challenges in front of the audience and live a great moment together. I’m always proud to bring an audience that usually doesn’t go to the opera, and they can experience what it’s like to be right front of the singers. With the American Sephardi Federation, we have created a new artistic rendez-vous, so we hope to see you there!