Verdi's Il Trovatore

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Verdi’s Il Trovatore again storms the Met stage in a star-studded, anvil-wielding cast that reprises the core of the production’s 2009 premiere, including Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Marcelo Álvarez sings Manrico, the troubadour of the title.

When McVicar’s production had its 2009 Met premiere, the New York Times celebrated its “clear-headed, psychologically insightful and fluid staging.” McVicar’s take on the tale of power plays in Biscay and Aragon in the middle of the fifteenth century is updated in this staging to early 19th century during the Spanish War of Independence.

Il Trovatore had its premiere at the Teatro Apollo in Rome on January 19, 1853. The Tiber River had reportedly overflowed its banks, leaving opera-goers wet footed but well sated in their appreciation for the new work.

“The public listened to every number with religious silence and broke out with applause at every interval,” reported the Gazzetta Musicale. “The end of the third act and the whole of the fourth arousing such enthusiasm that their repetition was demanded.”

What the opera may lack in plot it more than makes up for in its musical score, a mid-career work for Verdi and among his most heralded.

Cast and credits:

Conductor: Marco Armiliato

Leonora: Sondra Radvanovsky

Azucena: Dolora Zajick

Manrico: Marcelo Álvarez

di Luna: Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Ferrando: Stefan Kocán

Production: David McVicar