Il trovatore

Nov. 26, 2021, 7 p.m.

Opernhaus Zürich
Falkenstrasse 1
8008 Zürich

As Enrico Caruso once said, casting this opera is quite simple: you just need the four best singers in the world. Our quartet of soloists have indisputably earned that distinction. Debuting as Leonora is Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka, with Piotr Bezcała at her side as her lover Manrico. His rival Count Luna is Quinn Kelsey, whom Zurich audiences will remember as Rigoletto. And Polish mezzo-soprano Agnieszka Rehlis returns to Zurich to sing Azucena. Gianandrea Noseda takes his first bow as General Music Director with this production, which also marks the debut of the young British stage director Adele Thomas, who is predestined for this opera thanks to her affinity for sensual and theatrical imagery. 

Verdi’s Trovatore is at the center of the greatest contradictions in opera: it is both the most criticized and one of the most popular works in the entire repertoire. Its gloomy plot – which is incomprehensible without prior knowledge of the back story – is the source of much of that criticism. But the piece’s enduring popularity, which started with its world premiere more than 150 years ago, is due to Verdi’s unbridled melodic inventiveness, a musical dramaturgy rife with stark contrasts, and the brilliance of the vocal roles. Together with the other two operas that make up the trilogia popolareLa traviata and RigolettoIl trovatore helped make Verdi world famous. And like its operatic siblings, Trovatore features an outsider at its core. Here, it’s Azucena, whose insatiable thirst for revenge drives the plot’s erratic twists and turns. Once upon a time, she had to watch as her own mother was burned at the stake as a witch. Driven by the injustice of this act, she kidnapped the son of the family responsible for her mother’s death, in order that he be consumed by flames as well. But Azucena bears a secret: the child that she once threw into the fire in a blind rage was in fact her son. Manrico, whom she raised to believe was her own son, is the brother of the hated Count Luna. Now Luna and Manrico, the «Troubadour», aren’t just on opposite sides of a civil war. They’re also rivals in love. And the object of their affections is none other than Leonora…


Kulturstelle contact: Alexander Fink email

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