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International Ballet Festival in the Kremlin
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24 August 2017 (Thu), 19:00 Moscow theatre "New Opera" - Opera Il Trovatore - G.Verdi (Opera in two acts)


Schedule for Il Trovatore - G.Verdi (Opera in two acts) 2017/2018

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Choirmaster producer: Natalya Popovich
Choirmaster producer: Victor Kuturaev

Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra of the "New Opera" Theatre

Performed in Italian

Premiere of this production: 16 December 2012

Stage Director Marco Gandini
Set Designer Italo Grassi
Costume Designer Simona Morresi
Lighting Designer Virginio Levrio
Choirmasters Natalya Popovich, Victor Kuturaev

Il trovatore
, composed by Giuseppe Verdi in 1853, is one of his most popular operas. It is a romantic drama with an intricate plot and deathly mysteries, passions of love and fierce duels, vengeance and a tragic denouement. Unaware of their kinship, two brothers, Count di Luna and the troubadour Manrico, are bitter rivals in their fight for power and love for Countess Leonora. Ridden by jealousy and vengeance, di Luna kills his own brother whom he has been looking for all his life as he promised to his now deceased father.
 
Basing his opera on the play El Trovador by the Spanish playwright Antonio Garcia Gutierrez, Verdi created vivid musical portraits of the characters conveyed by the fabulously melodious arias and duets. These are the gypsy Azucena, who keeps the fateful secret of Manrico’s birth and is torn between her boundless motherly love and vengeance, the perfidious Count di Luna, the noble Manrico and his faithful beloved Leonora. They are supplemented by the picturesque figures of the gypsies, monks, soldiers, and the Count’s courtiers expressed in the splendid choruses. The verve and gorgeousness of Verdi’s score will be displayed to the audience by Novaya Opera’s Chief Conductor Jan Latham-Koenig.
 
To stage one of Verdi’s most mysterious masterpieces, the Novaya Opera Theatre has invited an Italian production team, including stage director Marco Gandini, set designer Italo Grassi and costume designer Simona Morresi, who have worked together before on successful projects.
 
Marco Gandini has worked in the major Italian opera houses (Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Rome Opera, San Carlo Theatre in Naples, La Fenice in Venice) and internationally at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, opera houses in Los Angeles and Washington, the Royal Opera House in London, Teatro Real in Madrid, Teatro Liceu in Barcelona, Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. The sets for most of his productions have been designed by Italo Grassi. A few years ago the team was joined by costume designer Simona Morresi, who in 2011 took part in the production of Verdi’s Falstaff (in Tokyo) and Simon Boccanegra (in Seoul). Il trovatore in Novaya Opera will be the third project of the creative team.


Marco Gandini, stage director:

“This opera has three main components: the world of Count di Luna, the world of Leonora and the world of the gypsies Manrico and Azucena. These are the three intonations, three colours, three images of Il trovatore. That is why the central element of the scenery will be three towers, each with three sides. They all are different, symbolizing the main characters’ worlds. The costumes will be in line with the epoch.

When I work with singers, whether Italian or international, I do not just tell them how they should move on stage; I devote much time to achieving pronunciation clarity and understanding the gist of the story, as I believe that the integrity of a stage image, the facial and body mobility of a character depend on the speech, understanding and appropriation of both the musical and the literary text of an opera”.



Enrico Caruso and Ernestine Schumann-Heink (1913)
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Manrico and Azucena are awaiting their execution. Manrico attempts to soothe Azucena, whose mind wanders to happier days in the mountains (Duet: Ai nostri monti ritorneremo / "Again to our mountains we shall return"). At last the gypsy slumbers. Leonora comes to Manrico and tells him that he is saved, begging him to escape. When he discovers she cannot accompany him, he refuses to leave his prison. He believes Leonora has betrayed him until he realizes that she has taken poison to remain true to him. As she dies in agony in Manrico's arms she confesses that she prefers to die with him than to marry another (Quartet: Prima che d'altri vivere / "Rather than live as another's"). The count has heard Leonora's last words and orders Manrico's execution. Azucena awakes and tries to stop Di Luna. Once Manrico is dead, she cries: Egli era tuo fratello! Sei vendicata, o madre. / "He was your brother... You are avenged, oh mother!".
Cultural references

Enrico Caruso once said that all it takes for successful performance of Il trovatore is the four greatest singers in the world. On many different occasions, this opera and its music have been featured in various forms of popular culture and entertainment. Scenes of comic chaos play out over a performance of Il trovatore in the Marx Brothers's film, A Night at the Opera.Luchino Visconti used a performance of Il trovatore at La Fenice opera house for the opening sequence of his 1954 film Senso. As Manrico sings his battle cry in "Di quella pira", the performance is interrupted by the answering cries of Italian nationalists in the audience. In Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism, Millicent Marcus proposes that Visconti used this operatic paradigm throughout Senso, with parallels between the opera's protagonists, Manrico and Leonora, and the film's protagonists, Ussoni and Livia.




Synopsis
Synopsis

Place: Biscay and Aragon (Spain)
Time: Fifteenth century.

Act 1
: The Duel

Scene 1: The guard room in the castle of Luna (The Palace of Aljafería, Zaragoza, Spain)
Ferrando, the captain of the guards, orders his men to keep watch while Count di Luna wanders restlessly beneath the windows of Leonora, lady-in-waiting to the Princess. Di Luna loves Leonora, and is jealous of his successful rival, the troubadour Manrico. In order to keep the guards awake, Ferrando narrates the history of the count to the guard. (Aria: Di due figli vivea padre beato / "The good Count di Luna lived happily, the father of two sons"). Many years ago a gypsy was wrongfully accused of having bewitched the youngest of the di Luna children, the child died and for this the gypsy had been burnt alive as a witch over her protests of innocence. Dying, she had commanded her daughter Azucena to avenge her, which she did by abducting the other baby. Although the burnt bones of a child were found in the ashes of the pyre, the father refused to believe in his son's death; dying, he commanded the new Count di Luna to seek Azucena.

Scene 2: Garden in the palace of the princess
Leonora confesses her love for Manrico to her confidante, Ines. (Tacea la notte placida / "The peaceful night lay silent"... Di tale amor / "A love that words can scarcely describe"). When they have gone, Count di Luna hears the voice of his rival, Manrico, in the distance: (Deserto sulla terra / "Alone upon this earth"). While Leonora in the darkness mistakes the count for her lover, Manrico himself enters the garden, and she rushes to his arms. The count recognises Manrico as his enemy, who has been condemned to death due to his political affiliations and challenges him to a duel over their common love. Leonora tries to intervene, but cannot stop them from fighting (Trio: Di geloso amor sprezzato / "The fire of jealous love" ).

Act 2: The Gypsy Woman

Scene 1
: The gypsies' camp
"Stride la vampa"
From act 2. Sung by Gabriella Besanzoni in 1920.
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The gypsies sing the Anvil Chorus: Vedi le fosche notturne / "See! The endless sky casts off her sombre nightly garb.."). Azucena, the daughter of the Gypsy burnt by the count, is still haunted by her duty to avenge her mother. (Aria: Stride la vampa / "The flames are roaring!"). The Gypsies break camp while Azucena confesses to Manrico that after stealing the di Luna baby she had intended to burn the count's little son along with her mother, but overwhelmed by the screams and the gruesome scene of her mother's execution, she became confused and threw her own child into the flames instead (Aria: Condotta ell'era in ceppi / "They dragged her in bonds"). Manrico realises that he is not the son of Azucena, but loves her as if she were indeed his mother, as she has always been faithful and loving to him. Manrico tells Azucena that he defeated Di Luna in their duel, but was held back from killing him by a mysterious power (Duet: Mal reggendo / "He was helpless under my savage attack"). A messenger arrives and reports that Leonora, who believes Manrico dead, is about to enter a convent and take the veil that night. Although Azucena tries to prevent him from leaving in his weak state (Ferma! Son io che parlo a te! / "I must talk to you"), Manrico rushes away to prevent her from carrying out this purpose.

Scene 2
: In front of the convent
Di Luna and his attendants intend to abduct Leonora and the Count sings of his love for her (Aria: Il balen del suo sorriso / "The light of her smile" ... Per me ora fatale / "Fatal hour of my life"). Leonora and the nuns appear in procession, but Manrico prevents Di Luna from carrying out his plans and instead, takes Leonora away with him.

Act 3: The Son of the Gypsy Woman

Scene 1
: Di Luna's camp Di Luna and his army are attacking the fortress where Manrico has taken refuge with Leonora (Chorus: Or co' dadi ma fra poco / "Now we play at dice"). Ferrando drags in Azucena, who has been captured wandering near the camp. When she hears di Luna’s name, Azucena’s reactions arouse suspicion and Ferrando recognizes her as the murderer of the count’s brother. Azucena cries out to her son Manrico to rescue her and the count realizes that he has the means to flush his enemy out of the fortress. He orders his men to build a pyre and burn Azucena before the walls.

Scene 2
: A chamber in the castle Inside the castle, Manrico and Leonora are preparing to be married. She is frightened; the battle with di Luna is imminent and Manrico’s forces are outnumbered. He assures her of his love (Aria, Manrico: Ah si, ben mio coll'essere / "Ah, yes, my love, in being yours"), even in the face of death. When news of Azucena’s capture reaches him, he summons his men and desperately prepares to attack (Stretta: Di quella pira l'orrendo foco / "The horrid flames of that pyre"). Leonora faints.

Act 4: The Punishment

Scene 1
: Before the dungeon keep
Manrico has failed to free Azucena and has been imprisoned himself. Leonora attempts to free him (Aria: D'amor sull'ali rosee / "On the rosy wings of love"; Chorus & Duet: Miserere / "Lord, thy mercy on this soul") by begging Di Luna for mercy and offers herself in place of her lover. She promises to give herself to the count, but secretly swallows poison from her ring in order to die before Di Luna can possess her (Duet: Mira, d'acerbe lagrime / "See the bitter tears I shed").

Scene 2: In the dungeon

"Se m'ami ancor ... Ai nostri monti ritorneremo"




Schedule for Il Trovatore - G.Verdi (Opera in two acts) 2017/2018


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