In Jerusalem, the Israelites gather together in the Temple of Solomon to pray for help as Nabucco, the King of Babylon, comes to attack their city. Zaccaria, the high priest, enters the Temple with Nabucco’s daughter, Fenena, who has been taken hostage, and assures his people that the Lord will not forsake them ('D'Egitto là sui lidi...Come notte a sol fulgente'). As the crowd leaves, Ismaele, the nephew of the King of Jerusalem, is left alone with the hostage, Fenena. Secretly having fallen in love when Ismaele was in prison in Babylon, Fenena had followed Ismaele to Jerusalem after freeing him. As they speak alone, they are interrupted by Fenena’s half-sister, Abigaille, who is also in love with Ismaele. With a group of Babylonian soldiers at her back, she tells Ismaele that she can and will save his people if he returns her love. True to Fenena, Ismaele refuses her offer.
Just then, the Israelites run into the temple in fear because Nabucco has arrived with his group of
Nabucco guide sections