Opera in 4 acts
Libretto Salvatore Cammarano based on the drama of the same name by Antonio Garcia Gutierrez
Stage Director: Thilo Reinhard (Germany)
Stage designer - Karel Spangak (Netherlands)
Costume Designer - Ulli Kremer (Germany)
Lighting Artist - Paul van Laak (Netherlands)
The premiere took place on September 28-29, 2019
Troubadour is an opera about irreconcilable hostility and faithful love, an opera of sharp contrasts, violent clashes and strong feelings inherent in a romantic drama. For more than 160 years, this work by Giuseppe Verdi remains one of the most popular in the world. First of all, thanks to the extraordinary music, which is rich in beautiful, freely flowing melodies close to folk tunes. Embodying the fate and experience of the heroes, the composer paid great attention to the life background of the unfolding events. The images of gypsies, monks, soldiers, and close associates of the gypsies are very colorful painted and outlined in relief, memorable choirs.
The plot of the “Troubadour” is borrowed from the play of the same name by the Spanish playwright Antonio García Gutierrez (1812 – 1884), successfully staged in Madrid in 1836, and is based on real events in the history of Spain of the 15th century. This is a typical romantic drama with intricate intrigue and bloody denouement, with indispensable fights, revenge, poison and fateful secrets. Romantic drama attracted Verdi with the brightness of colors, the acuteness of scenic situations, the boiling of passions, as well as a heroic theme embodied in the drama of Gutierrez, which vibrantly worried Verdi’s compatriots – contemporaries and participants in the liberation movements that shook Italy in the 19th century. The plot was so enthralled by the composer that after drawing up a carefully thought-out plan of the opera, in which the liberation idea manifested itself very clearly, the music – courageous and passionate, imbued with the pathos of freedom of love – was written in just 29 days. The premiere of “Troubadour” took place on January 19, 1853 in Rome and immediately won universal recognition.
The action takes place in Spain at the beginning of the fifteenth century.
Ferrando, the chief of the guard of Count de Luna, tells the soldiers the tragic story of the count family: the old gypsy tried to destroy the youngest son of Count di Luna with witchcraft. Then she was executed in the fire. The daughter of the warlock decided to take revenge and kidnapped the little count. After burning among the remains of an old gypsy, they also found charred bones of a child.
The old Count di Luna could not accept the death of his boy. Dying, he took a promise from his eldest son that he would continue the search for his disappeared brother.
At midnight, the witch’s spirit wanders around the castle. So, turning into an owl, the ghost seemed to have killed one of the servants. The bell rings: midnight. Warriors are horrified …
Silent dark night. The Duchess of Leonora, strolling with her friend Ines, admits that she is in love with Manrico’s troubadour.
Hoping to meet Leonora, Count Di Luna appears in the garden. A song is heard from afar – Manrico sings. There is a fight between the rivals.
Gypsy camp in the mountains of Biscay. Azucena tells Manrico about the death of her mother and a terrible mistake when, blinded by grief, she mixed up and threw her child into the fire, thereby preserving the life of the count’s son. Manrico is amazed at what he heard: how, is he not her son ?! Azucena reassures him and orders to avenge her by punishing the Earl of Di Luna.
The messenger gives Manrico a message from his friend Ryitz: Leonora, learning about the death of her lover, decided to leave for the monastery. Having said goodbye to the gypsy, the young man hurries to his beloved.
Di Luna, together with his guard, is hiding in the monastery courtyard. The count is sure that the troubadour is killed. Now he seeks to abduct Leonora. The sudden appearance of Manrico amazes everyone. Leonora cannot believe in happy salvation. Ruiz, who came to the rescue with the warriors, forces the count’s guards to retreat.
Camp of Count di Luna. The soldiers are preparing for the siege of the castle, in which they found shelter for Leonor and Manrico. The count, jealous, hopes to tear them apart again.
Soldiers lead a related Azuchen, who is captured as a spy. Ferrando recognizes in her a gypsy who once abducted the younger brother of Count di Luna. In desperation, Azucena calls Manrico. The count’s sinister joy is boundless: he will not only avenge his brother, but also execute the mother of his worst enemy.
The long-awaited moment of the marriage of Leonora and Manrico is troubled: the castle is surrounded by enemies. But Manrico is not afraid of anything: Leonora’s love adds strength to him. An agitated Ruiz reports that Azucena fell into the hands of Count de Luna, and she is threatened with the death penalty in flames. Manrico is determined to save his mother, and calls on the soldiers to advance.
In a heavy battle, the squad of Manrico was defeated. The troubadour is captured and thrown into prison.
Dark night. In desperation, Leonora begs the Count for the release of Manrico, but prayers only increase his anger and jealousy. Then she decides to save her beloved at the cost of her own life. He promises the count that he will become his wife if the count is allowed to see Manrico, then drinks poison.
In prison, Azucena and Manrico awaiting execution. Gypsy goes crazy with misery. A vision comes to her – a bonfire on which her mother is burned … Manrico reassures Azuchena. Falling asleep, she continues to dream: native mountains appear, a former carefree life …
Di Luna leads Leonora on a date with Manrico. She brought her beloved the news of the release, but she herself could not go with him. Manrico rebukes her: freedom, bought at the cost of treason, he does not need. Only when the poison begins to act does he learn about the heroic sacrifice of his beloved. Di Luna, convinced of the futility of his hopes, kills Manrico.
Gypsy reveals the terrible truth to the Count: he killed his brother.