One of the non-medical groups which members of MedChi participate in is called “Opera Docs”. Working with the Lyric Theatre, our neighbor just to the north, invited guests and friends have a casual supper at the Lyric and then listen to one of our physicians give a lecture on a topic relevant to the current opera. Following that, the guests attend a full dress rehearsal of the opera, which opens several days later.
Some of the topics that have been discussed are medical conditions, psychiatric issues, biblical history and politics. At the most recent Opera Docs gathering, the speaker talked about the history of Nabucco, which parallels a story in the Old Testament.Nabucco, King of Babylon (King Nebuchadnezzar) has enslaved and oppressed the Hebrews, but his presumed daughter, Abigaille, has fallen in love with the Jewish Ismaele, and secretly works for their freedom. Nabucco’s pride leads to his downfall, when he proclaims himself God and is struck by lightning. This beautiful opera, containing the beloved chorus “Va, Pensiero” ends as Abigaille and Nabucco recognize the Hebrew God as the one true God.