Verdi Week at the Metropolitan Opera continues on Tuesday, August 25, with the online transmission of Il Trovatore (The Troubador). This production, recorded on October 3, 2015 as part of the Met’s Live in HD series, stars soprano Anna Netrebko as Leonora, tenor Yonghoon Lee is the troubadour Manrico, Count di Luna is sung by the late Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Dolora Zajick is the mysterious gypsy woman Azucena, and Štefan Kocań is Ferrando, captain of the troops.
Il Trovatore was composed in 1853, with a libretto largely written by Salvadore Cammarano. Based on the 1836 play El toreador by Antonio García Gutiérrez, the opera premiered in the same year, at the Teatro Apollo in Rome.
Leonora, a young noblewoman in the queen’s service, is in love with Manrico, a troubadour who serenades her every evening, but Count di Luna is obsessed by her. He has also sworn to avenge what he believes to be the death of his infant brother at the hands of a gypsy woman. Manrico has been brought up to believe that the gypsy Azucena is his mother, but isn’t aware that he is actually the brother of the Count, and that Azucena accidentally killed her own child. The actions of Azucena all those years ago affect each of the main characters in the story, and lead to a train of events which end in tragedy.
British director David McVicar made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera when he first staged this production in 2009. Moving the action from 1409, he set it against the backdrop of the Spanish War of Independence against Napoleon, taking inspiration for his designs from Francisco Goya’s 82 prints, Desastres de la Guerra.
Marco Armiliato leads the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Choir in this performance of Il Trovatore, which is available to view from 7.30 pm EDT on Tuesday, August 25, until 6.30 pm EDT on August 26. For further details, visit the Metropolitan Opera website.
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