At the Brink. The New Yorker, July 25, 2011 (subscribers only).
The attached video shows Riccardo Muti's remarkable speech [see 7:30] after "Va, pensiero" at a Rome Opera performance of Nabucco in March. The crucial passage may be translated thus: "When the chorus sang ‘Oh mia patria sì bella e perduta!’ [Oh, my country so beautiful and lost!] I thought to myself that if we slay the culture on which the history of Italy is founded, truly our country will be beautiful and lost."