Opera in two acts
Music Director: Jan Latham-Koenig
Stage Director: Marco Gandini
Set Designer: Italo Grassi
Costume Designer: Simona Morresi
Lighting Designer: Virginio Levrio
Chief choirmaster: Natalya Popovich
Choirmaster: Maria Chekrkchieva
Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes with one intermission
Premiered on 16 December 2012
Recommended for 12+
Performed in Italian with Russian surtitles
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.