Azucena had to witness her mother being burned as a witch. In revenge, she kidnapped the younger of the two sons of the old Count di Luna, who ordered her mother’s burning, but in her delirium she threw her own son onto the flames instead of the Count’s son. Years later, the new Count di Luna, the brother of the kidnapped child, and the »Troubadour« Manrico, the supposed son of Azucena, not only fight on opposing sides in a civil war, but also encounter each other because they both love the lady-in-waiting Leonora. Nobody suspects that Manrico is actually Luna’s kidnapped brother – until Leonora sacrifices herself for her beloved and the hate-filled Luna kills his rival.
Fascinated by the strong situations that arose from this bizarre constellation of plots and characters as well as the boldness and novelty of the Spanish play, Giuseppe Verdi created a work full of enrapturing bel canto numbers and elaborately dramatic orchestral parts that met with wild enthusiasm. The opera’s erratic and rather implausible plot was frequently and justifiably criticised, but scenes of atrocities, vengeance, madness, jealousy, love, despair and hate offered the composer an occasion to compose the extremely expressive melodies, emotionally charged arias and dramatic choruses that make Il trovatore a truly enthralling festival of song.
Il trovatore will be performed in Italian language with German and English surtitles.