First of all, my doubts were totally confirmed as far as the production goes: it is a desperately shabby show with no ground idea, without actually telling anything, with acting reduced to singers occasionally rising and opening their arms, with no scenic dynamics among protagonists whatsoever... To that add Leo Nucci [at 69] barking the hell out of Nabucco, so that even wonderfully sounding Dmitry Beloselskiy and Anna Malavasi couldn't rescue anything.
BUT, one of those big emotional moments actually happened right after the chorus ended singing Va, pensiero. A first burst of Bravi! soon converted into calls for encore (Biiiiis!), and then someone from the crowd shouted "Viva l'Italia!", Muti turned to the crowd and said
I agree with that "Viva l'Italia!" See, I'm not young anymore, but as an Italian who travels around the world I feel great pain for what's happening in Italy*. So if I respect your requests tonight and we repeat Va, pensiero, I won't do it only for patriotic reasons. Tonight --while the chorus sang Oh mia patria si bella e perduta! [Oh, my country so beautiful and lost!]-- I was thinking, if we kill the culture on which the history of Italy is founded, then our country will really be beautiful and lost.
The chorus then stood up to join a general applause. Then Muti invited everyone from the crowd to sing along and so the entire theater sang with the chorus Va, pensiero.
In the end of the aria the chorus members are the folks in the crowd were wiping their tears off...
Watch here (video of the whole show is available on Arte+7 website):
Ah bella Italia!
*) Muti is unclear on purpose: his pain can be interpreted as a reaction to the separatist movements that have recently gained in popularity both in the North and South of Italy, or it can be his reaction to the outrageous cuts by the Government on the public subsidies to opera (abrupt slash was 37%!)