Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège
Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi de Trieste
In 15th century Spain, the struggle for power has given rise to interminable hate between rival clans. The powerful Count De Luna loves the beautiful and noble Leonora. She rejects him for she is secretly in love with a rebellious minstrel, Manrico, a child brought up by the gypsy Azucena determined to avenge the unjust death by burning at the stake of her mother…
At his peak and graced with the experience acquired during years of struggle, Verdi produced his three major popular successes. With Rigoletto, Il Trovatore and La Traviata, he produced a famous trilogy that left its mark on opera in the 19th century. The psychological exploration of the characters is only equalled by the composer’s intense reflection on human passions: love, hate, vengeance and death.
Drawing inspiration from a Spanish tragedy, El trovador by Gutiérrez, the work is a dark one and its ending is tragic. However, Il Trovatore offers us marvellous grand arias in which passion enhances the bel canto style, while the breathless plot leaves no respite for the spectator.
Whilst the immense tragic strength of the opera resides in the triangular heartbreak between the baritone Count De Luna, tenor Manrico and soprano Leonora, Verdi invents an exceptional role for the character of Azucena. In a grave register, the gypsy is possessed by an absolute need for vengeance. Her interventions, displaying the contradictory phases of her nature, are a veritable challenge for the opera singer who must surpass herself in every aspect and embody a character who is as overwhelming as she is unforgettable.
Introduction to performances: curtain-raisers
All the opera performances are preceded by an educational introduction open to all. They take place 30 minutes before the start of the performance, in the company of an opera specialist to provide a pertinent presentation of the work.