Il trovatore

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14th century troubadours

Il trovatore (The Troubadour) is an Italian opera in four acts. The music was written by Giuseppe Verdi. The story and words were written by Salvatore Cammarano. It is based on Antonio Garcia Gutiérrez's El Trobador. The opera was first performed in Rome on January 19, 1853. It was an instant hit.

Roles[change | edit source]

  • Manrico, supposed son of Azucena and one of Prince Urgel's chieftains - tenor
  • Leonora, lady-in-waiting to the Princess of Aragon - soprano
  • Azucena, a gypsy woman - mezzo-soprano
  • Conte di Luna, a young nobleman - baritone
  • Ferrando, Captain of the Count's Guard - bass
  • Ruis, a soldier in Manrico's service - tenor
  • Inez, confidante of Leonora - mezzo-soprano

Story of the opera[change | edit source]

Scene from the opera
Spain is suffering a civil war. Count di Luna fights for the Prince of Aragon. Manrico, a gypsy, fights for Prince Urgel.
Act 1. Ferrando tells of the old Count's two children. Years ago, one died and the other disappeared. An old gipsy was suspected. She was burnt at the stake. Her daughter Azucena vowed revenge. In the palace garden, Leonora waits for her mysterious lover. The Count di Luna is in love with Leonora. Manrico appears as Leonora's lover. The two men have a sword fight.
Act 2. At a gipsy camp, Azucena mutters about throwing her own child into a fire and saving the old Count's son. She orders Manrico to avenge her wrongs upon the head of Count di Luna. Manrico is ordered to man Castellor.
Act 3. Di Luna lays seige to Castellor. He captures Azucena and sends her off to the stake. Inside the castle Manrico and Leonora are awaiting their marriage. Word is received about Azucena. Manrico hurries off to save her.
Act 4. Manrico is captured and sentenced to death with Azucena. Leonora enters to take his place. She takes poison to avoid Di Luna. Di Luna in a rage orders Manrico beheaded. Azucena tells Di Luna he has just killed his own brother.

Sources[change | edit source]

  • The Complete Dictionary of Opera & Operetta, James Anderson, Wings Books, 1993.
  • Earl of Harewood. 1989.Kobbe's Illustrated Opera Book. Putnam's. pages 72-76 ISBN 0-399-13475-1.