Verdi was commissioned to write I Lombardi as a direct result of the success of Nabucco the year before. It was first produced at La Scala, Milan, in 1843 at a time when Verdi was becoming increasingly popular both in Italy and abroad. The opera is set at the time of the first Crusade and tells of the rivalry of two brothers, Arvino and Pagano, for the love of Viclinda. Pagano, in an attempt to abduct Viclinda and kill his brother, in error murders his father. He is exiled to the Holy Land to live as a hermit. Giselda, Arvino's daughter, has gone with her father on the Crusade, but is captured by Acciano, tyrant of Antioch. She falls in love with his son Oronte. They escape, but Oronte is wounded and dies. The hermit leads the attack on Jerusalem and then reveals his identity to Arvino, dying forgiven in his brothers arms.