When the infant son of Count di Luna falls ill after a visit from a gypsy woman, she is burned at the stake for witchcraft. Her daughter snatches the child intending to kill him, but, mad with grief, throws her own son onto the fire. Years later, she has brought the Count’s son up as her own and he and his elder brother, unaware of their relationship, are rivals for the beautiful Leonora. Jealousy, revenge, love and hate collide as the opera crashes towards its unstoppable conclusion.
This restaging from director Martin Lloyd-Evans conjures up all the superstition and fearfulness of the Dark Ages. The stark, brooding lines of the set stand in contrast to the blood and thunder of Verdi’s music, providing a majestic backdrop for a cast and chorus of over 50.
Full-blooded opera at its grandest, Verdi’s score is pack with a dizzying succession of familiar melodies, from the thrilling Anvil Chorus and Manrico’s stirring ‘Di quella pira’ to the spine-tingling Miserere. The cast includes some of the UK’s finest singers, including Roland Wood (Werther 2013), Anne Mason (Der Ring des Nibelungen 2004) and Jonathan May, leading soprano Claire Rutter (Turandot 2014) and renowned Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones. Tobias Ringborg (Rigoletto 2011, Così fan tutte 2009) conducts.
Listen to extracts from Il trovatore:
Deserto sulla terra
Di geloso amor sprezzato
Stride la vampa
Di quella pira
D’amor sull’ali rosee vanne
From the complete recording on Decca Classics www.deccaclassics.com
Orchestra e coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Zubin Mehta/Leo Nucci/Antonella Banaudi/Shirley Verrett/Luciano Pavarotti
Thu 21 May 7.15pm•Sun 24 May 4.00pm•Wed 27 May 7.15pm
Sat 30 May 7.15pm
Thu 4 Jun 7.15pm•Sat 6 Jun 7.15pm
Thu 11 Jun 7.30pm•Sat 13 Jun 7.30pm