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Past Films

On Stage: Il trovatore

  • Starring: Maria Agresta, Lianna Haroutounian, Anita Rachvelishvili, The Royal Opera
  • Director: David Bösch
  • Conductor: Richard Farnes
  • Genre(s): Drama, Performance Art
  • Rating: NR
  • Filmed Jan. 31st 2017 at the Royal Opera House in London.
  • Running Time: Approx 2 Hours 50 Minutes, Including One Interval

The Moxie: On Stage is a new series showcasing world class performances from stages across the globe.

Tickets: $20/adults; $15/members & students

This series is made possible thanks to a grant from the Springfield Regional Arts Council.

Production Information: 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.

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.

"Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian as love interest Leonora has a powerful, agile sound melding beautifully in ensembles and with engaging tenor Francesco Meli as her lover Manrico in the title role. Spellbinding as the obsessive gypsy Azucena is Ekaterina Semenchuk, beautiful throughout her mezzo range, while Serbian Zeljko Lucic’s mellifluous baritone triumphs as love rival Count di Luna."
- Cara Chanteau, Independent
"The stand out performance on this occasion was unarguably mezzo soprano Anita Rachvelishvili, as Azucena. She has a rich, affecting and powerful voice and she deservedly received several spontaneous rounds of applause."
- The Quarterly Review, Leslie Jones
"The true gem of the production is the gypsy Azucena, sung by Anita Rachvelishvili, who gives her character a distinctive shape: we can see in her movements that she is burdened by the crime she had committed and by her grief, as she keeps cradling a doll while singing about the tragedy that is still before her eyes. "
- Natalia Kolosova, Plays To See