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Watch: Verdi’s Anvil Chorus from Il trovatore

Watch The Royal Opera Chorus perform the famous Coro di zingari from Act II scene 1 of Giuseppe Verdi’s 1853 opera.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

20 July 2016 at 11.21am | 2 Comments

Even for those who have never set foot in an opera house, Verdi’s Anvil Chorus is likely to be a familiar tune. Its rousing tune and rhythmic percussion – including, frequently, anvils played on stage on and off the beat – makes it something of an archetype for a bold, cheery Italian chorus.

The chorus marks a moment of levity in an otherwise dark opera plot of revenge, mistaken identity and tragedy; but the Anvil Chorus tells of the virtues of hard work, the beauty of gypsy women, and the benefits of a large glass of wine, with words by librettist Salvadore Cammarano.

Read more: Il trovatore musical highlight: ‘Tace la notte’

In this performance, a production directed by David Bösch, a troupe of gypsies take the stage in larger-than-life costumes – striking their anvils at dawn before the mood shifts and we hear from Azucena, the gypsy woman who is determined to avenge her mother’s death after she was burnt at the stake by the Count di Luna.

Discover more about the role of the chorus in opera in the exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, at the V&A Museum 30 September 2017–25 February 2018.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

20 July 2016 at 11.21am

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged anvil chorus, by David Bosch, by Giuseppe Verdi, by Verdi, Chorus, Giuseppe Verdi, opera, performance, Royal Opera Chorus, video, YouTube

This article has 2 comments

  1. Tim responded on 22 July 2016 at 12:47am Reply

    Goofy circus act.

  2. Bernard carroll responded on 20 January 2017 at 11:53pm Reply

    Staatsoper live have a wonderful live streaming service. Take a look, you would be very impressed. One can only hope the royal opera house would catch up soon, being one of the finest Opera houses in the world. I have asked them several times over the years, but only received very vague answers.

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