Live Cinema Season

Il trovatore

Recorded | Opera

Running time: About 2 hours 50 minutes, including one interval

Il trovatore

The first revival of David Bösch’s new production for The Royal Opera, with two casts including Maria Agresta, Lianna Haroutounian and Anita Rachvelishvili.

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The story

The Count di Luna loves Leonora, but she loves Manrico, the Count’s military enemy. Manrico’s mother Azucena tells him how her mother was burnt to death for supposed witchcraft against the Count’s baby brother. Azucena intended to throw the baby onto the fire – but blinded by revenge she lost her own child to the flames.

The Count captures Manrico and Azucena. Leonora promises herself to him if he will give them their freedom, but secretly takes poison. Leonora dies in Manrico’s arms. The Count has Manrico executed. Azucena reveals that her mother is finally avenged: the Count has murdered his own brother.

Background

Verdi wrote Il trovatore hot on the heels of Rigoletto, and its premiere came a scant two months before that of La traviata. But Il trovatore, while no less popular than its neighbours, is quite different. Verdi himself had suggested the source material, Antonio García Gutiérrez’s play El trovador (1836), to his librettist Salvatore Cammarano. He encouraged Cammarano to pursue the same cross-genre developments Verdi had introduced in Rigoletto, writing in an early letter ‘if the entire opera were, let’s say, a single piece, I would find it more reasonable and just’. As it happens, the end result is highly formal in structure, and seems to look back before the innovations of Rigoletto – but audiences since the opera’s premiere have been captivated by its great dramatic concision and energy.

Il trovatore is probably best known for its ‘gypsy’ music – the Anvil Chorus, Azucena’s ‘Stride la vampa’ and Manrico’s heroic ‘Di quella pira’ are key examples. But Verdi wrote wonderful music for all four of his leads, with the ‘aristocratic’ ‘Il balen del suo sorriso’ for the Count, and Leonora’s prayer ‘D’amor sull’ali rosee’ among a host of thrilling ensembles and chorus numbers. German director David Bösch, celebrated for his theatrical productions for Munich and Frankfurt among others, makes his UK debut with this new production for The Royal Opera. The opera’s themes of jealousy, revenge and love play out against a hauntingly beautiful, wintry landscape that has been riven by war.

Credits

Music
Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto
Salvadore Cammarano
Director
David Bösch
Set designer
Patrick Bannwart
Costume designer
Meentje Nielsen
Lighting designer
Olaf Winter
Associate lighting designer
Nick Havell
Video designer
Patrick Bannwart
Performed by
The Royal Opera

Performers

Conductor
Richard Farnes
Leonora
Lianna Haroutounian
Manrico
Gregory Kunde
Azucena
Anita Rachvelishvili
Count di Luna
Vitaliy Bilyy
Ferrando
Alexander Tsymbalyuk
Ines
Francesca Chiejina
Ruiz
Samuel Sakker
Chorus
Royal Opera Chorus
Concert Master
Sergey Levitin
Orchestra
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Il trovatore Digital Programme

Il trovatore Digital Programme
£2.99

Digital Programmes bring together a range of specially selected films, audio clips, pictures, articles, features, news and information, as well as exclusives and updates, and highlights from the Royal Opera House website, YouTube, SoundCloud and Flickr pages. Features are added as the performances approach, to enhance your experience of a production.

Cast sheets

Cast sheets are available as PDFs

News and features

To find out more visit the Il trovatore production page.