Angela Meade Stars in Verdi's 'Il Trovatore'

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Angela Meade as Leonora in Verdi's 'Il Trovatore' at the Metropolitan Opera. Angela Meade as Leonora in Verdi's 'Il Trovatore' at the Metropolitan Opera. (Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera)

Tune in Saturday at 1 pm as the Metropolitan Opera presents Il Trovatore, Verdi's classic drama about unrequited love and hidden identities. Marco Armiliato conducts the opera, which features the famed Anvil Chorus, in a production by Sir David McVicar.

Soprano Angela Meade takes on the role of Leonora, the young noblewoman at the center of a love triangle. Competing for her affections are Manrico, a troubadour and rebel leader (sung by tenor Marcello Giordani) and his rival, Count di Luna (baritone Juan Jesús Rodríguez). Powerhouse mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick rounds out the cast as the  mysterious gypsy Azucena, one of her signature roles.


Conductor: Marco Armiliato
Leonora: Angela Meade
Manrico: Marcello Giordani
Count di Luna: Juan Jesús Rodríguez
Azucena: Dolora Zajick
Ferrando: Kwangchul Youn

Comments [17]

Concetta Nardone from Nassau

I enjoy this campy opera so much that I did not criticize the singers.
Tenor and soprano left a little to be desired and Angela screamed Di Te Scordarmi.
I am trying to be a kinder, gentler Concetta.

Feb. 14 2016 07:28 AM
CastaDiva from New York, NY

@Les from Miami, Florida
The Met audience is always appreciative, esp. of a well known opera such as Trovatore, and will applaud heartily at every aria, whether executed thrillingly or in a mediocre way.

Feb. 13 2016 05:41 PM
Les from Miami, Florida

To Steve: the prompter was heard very loudly because Marcello Giordani started singing words to the first stanza in "Di Quella Pira", then got back on track. I was thrilled hearing Juan Jesu's Rodriguez for the first time! Of course, "Sei tu..." that I wrote about earlier was sung as written, for Leonora only. There was a cut opened up that's not usually heard: right after the "Miserere" was sung we heard Leonora sing the first verse of "Tu vedrai che amore in terra...". I certainly agree that the chorus and conducting were wonderful. My two big letdowns are that the art of the trill wasn't on display in today's performance by anyone called upon to sing such --- and there are many times when it is written to be performed --- and that the stage picture was of an epoch some 300 years later than 15th Century Spain when the troubadours flourished. I also miss hearing the cymbal crashes loudly in climactic moments; and I realize I'm probably the only one to whom that matters. The audience in the Met sounded very appreciative and very happy; and there was much to be happy about.

Feb. 13 2016 04:22 PM

Steve, I was lucky enough to see Price /Corelli TWICE at the Met in the opera. It was magic.

Feb. 13 2016 03:55 PM
CastaDiva from New York, NY

Marvelous baritone. A pleasure listening to him, mellow and caressing to the ear, a perfect Verdi baritone. Bravo, JJR. I hope he is cast in many more Verdi operas. Zacjik is her usual splendid self—when is she ever not?--- The troubadour of the title role, however, is well past his prime, and was a disappointment, as he usually is these days. And Meade’s voice is not suited to that of a Verdi soprano. It just does not have the dramatic intensity. (She was also cast in Ernani, which I went to twice, and both times she ruined it for me.) She ought to limit herself to the bel canto roles in which she excels, and where she is peerless in her breathtaking fioritura. Why can’t singers choose their roles wisely? But she was somewhat better in the Act IV duet with baritone, where her coloratura stood her in good stead. The Met male chorus was superb, as usual.

Feb. 13 2016 03:51 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

BRAVI TUTTI. Conductors, singers, chorus, stage hands, etc.
and of course, to Peppino who wrote this wonderful massacre.
There was a film years ago with Jan Peerce and Diana Durban. She is in
jail and Jan was the arresting officer. they sang the Miserere in English.
I still remember that scene.

Feb. 13 2016 03:48 PM
Steve from Morristown, NJ

Was I hearing voices in my head or was that the prompter I heard in a few spots in act 3?

Feb. 13 2016 03:20 PM
Steve from Morristown, NJ

The curse of Trovatore is finally broken. Wonderful cast all the way down the line. The baritone is so great that I am not disappointed that we did not hear Dmitri and Dolora Zajick is a force of nature. Angela Meade is wonderful also. Bravos as usual to Donald Palumbo and the chorus who are second to none. Studio recordings with Bjorling, Corelli and DelMonaco are all great, but the most exciting performance is the 2/4/61 performance with Corelli and Price reprising their house debuts of a week before. What I would have given to be in the audience that day!!

Feb. 13 2016 03:16 PM
TomC from LIC

Juan Jesus Rodriguez is absolutely fantastic. Was not aware of him before listening to this performance. Intermission now and I am watching him on YouTube. Astonishing voice. The MET needs a voice like this.

Feb. 13 2016 02:41 PM
Ted Cerame from Perris, CA

Take a wonderful man, Verdi, add an Opera of genius, ‘II Trovatore, give it over to the, “House” to perform; lean back, close your eyes, listen with all your heart and soul, and then float on High to Enlightened places.

(Such music and performance has inspired some brilliant commentators to sing high notes today).
Thank you all.

Feb. 13 2016 02:36 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

@RARA: I stand corrected. I know it is dark as this is a Spanish massacre but I long for sunny Spain.

Very fine conducting by Maestro Armiliato.

Feb. 13 2016 02:23 PM
Rara Avis from Manhattan

@ Concetta Nardone:

Did you know that the darkness you refer to is not a production quirk? Trovatore is the darkest of Verdi's operas to the date of its composition. It meanders often into minor mode, (like in its opening scene, famously), and it's an opera notoriously devoid of sunshine. With few moments of exception, like the fatal daybreak at the very finale, most of its scenes are nocturnal. Moonlight and firelight are main dramatic poles in the opera.

Feb. 13 2016 01:46 PM

Lest I forget, Leonora was red meat for Callas.

Feb. 13 2016 01:09 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

CBC: would love to hear Di Quella Pira changed to Di Quella Pizza for a pizza chain commercial. Also would love to hear Viva Escamillio from Carmen to Viva Viva Viagra.
Just a joke folks.
This whole opera is gorgeous.
Hope I am not disappointed as I plan to pay attention .

Feb. 13 2016 01:06 PM

CBC cold here too. Zajick still has it after all these years. I have a "pira" from 1941 - no chorus - but sung by a very young Jussi, just fantastic. Zinka was great. I have the DelMonaco video with Lelya & Bastianini. When Mario hit the High D at the end of Act 1, I was amazed. Franco said he always sang the high D yet they all usually transpose "pira" down. It's rare to hear it in the original key & sung well. Sutherland made this her farewell to the Met on a Sat. b'cast in this role. I just love when they interpolate high notes as in "Ah si ben mio", let's see if this tenor does it. Then there are the repeats where they sing it straight the first time & them embellish it the 2nd time. So much in this opera to love. Something which usually gets lost is the cabaletta to "il balen", the baritone can really show his stuff there. Enjoy it well and stay by the gypsy fire to stay warm.

Feb. 13 2016 12:56 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

Gorgeous music in this one. Let's hope the singers do it justice.
There is more to this opera than the Anvil Chorus. I have the recording
with Jussi and Zinka and compare everyone to this. perhaps unfairly.
watched the telecast recently. Why is this production so dark. This is
supposed to be sunny Spain.
@CBC: Hope you are well Beduzzo. damn cold here.

Feb. 13 2016 07:23 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

"Il Trovatore" is long a proving ground for the world's best singers and I believe there are four "stars": Leonora, Azucena, Manrico and Count di Luna. I've heard all of the soloists before except for Juan Rodriguez and Kwangchul Youn as well as Marco Armiliato's conducting. Ferrando, the bass, gets the opening "place in the sun" with "Abietta zingara". Some believe it's a warhorse with many "hits" and a step back for Verdi in that there are many cavatinas and cabalettas in the manner of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini; and even the acts are called "Parts" and named, just as in the earlier "Nabucco". But there are just as many firsts the abovementioned never employed. For starters --- literally --- there are three crescendo timpani and bass drum rolls. What other opera ever began this way? Rossini began his Overture to "La Gazza Ladra" with antiphonal snare drum solos, but not the opera proper. At a point in "Abietta zingara" there occurs chromatic thirds descending then ascending in the strings; Verdi did the same in the last act of "Rigoletto" when the male chorus hums the same intervals only ascending then descending, depicting the storm's approaching. Most amazing of all to me is a chord Verdi chose to illustrate Azucena's horror that she murdered her own son rather than Count di Luna's when she tells that to Manrico in Part II. The chord blares out when she cries "Il figlio MIO!" It's A,B,D,E,F,G brilliantly orchestrated, completely appropriate and a chord I think worthy of Charles Ives! Two interpolations Verdi never wrote but are traditional are the high notes in "Di Quella Pira", legend has it an accident by the original tenor (depending upon whether it's sung in the original C major or transposed down) and Manrico joining Leonora's final words at the end of Part II "Sei tu dal ciel disceso...". It's written for Leonora only, but it does make sense for Manrico to sing it: "Did you come down from Heaven or am I in heaven with you?" I have no idea but would love to find out how the practice started and/or who started it, but I'm in favor of it. Is there any listener who doesn't prefer the high notes in "Di Quel Pira" and Manrico singing with Leonora in "Sei tu..."?

Feb. 13 2016 06:28 AM

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