Il Trovatore – DKT Old Stage – synopsis
Composer and librettist
Music: Giuseppe Verdi|Lyrics: Salvatore Cammarano and Leone Emanuele Bardare, after Gutiérrez.
Première at Teatro Apollo in Roma den 19 januari 1853. Seen the performance: 1.12.2003 Den Kongelige Opera Köpenhamn
A raging civil war between rebels and rulers. On one side, the Count di Luna representing the old order, and on the other the freedom fighter and troubadour Manrico.
Act I • The Duel
Scene 1 In front of the palace of Count di Luna
Ferrando is Count di Luna’s right hand. He tries to keep the drowsy sentinels awake during their night watch by telling gruelling tones about the old Count di Luna’s two sons:
One day, a mystical old woman wase ncountered by the cradle of one of the boys. Shortly after, the boy was menacedy rampant fever and come close to dying. While being burnt at the stake, the old woman pleaded her daughter Azucea for revenge. Azucena then stole the little boy from his cradle, and the next day the charred body of a child was found in the pyre where the woman had been burnt to death. The Count refused to believe that his son was dead. Fifteen years later, on his deathbed, he urged his elder son – the current Count di Luna to avenge the death of his brother.
Scene 2 Simultaneously in the palace park
Leonora, a Lady of the Royal Court, relates to her confidante Ines how she met the troubadour at a tournament. Leonora has arranged a rendezvous with the troubadour in the palae gardens the same night. However, Ines persuades her to retire since the hour was late. The Count di Luna, burning with passion for Leonora, hides beneath her window in the hope of catching a glimpse of her. Shortly after, the troubadour’s serenade is heard in the night. Leonora comes out to meet him.However, fooled by darkness she mistakes count di Luna for the troubadour, who subsequently turns up and reveals himself as Manrico, archenemy of the Count in the Strugle for freedom. The two are now rivals in both love and war, which immediately leads to a duel between them. The Count is only spared because Manrico for unknown reasons hesitates to take his life by the sword.
Act II • The Woman Refugee
Scene3 bout one and a half years later in a refugee camp
Azucena tells Manrico the old story of how her mother had been burnt at the stake,about the call for revenge and how she herself a long time ago in a crazed delirium made the terrible mistake of throwing her own son on the fire instead of the son of the count. Ever since she has raised him, Manrico, as her own son. She immediately regrets telling Manrico the story and instead assures him that she is his true mother. A messenger brings news, and Manrico is given orders by the leaders of the resistance to seize the bastion of Castellor. He also receives news that Leonora believes he is dead and therefore intends to enter a convent the following day.
Scene 4 1 cloister close to Castellor
Count di Luna lies in ambush with his men with the intention of abducting Leonora from the cloister, but Manrico beats them to it an the Count is overpowered. Manrico leads Leonora to safety at the captured tower of Castellor.
Act III • The Refugee’s Son
Scenes 5 The camp of Count di Luna outside Castellor
The Count di Luna’s soldiers lay siege to Castellor. The Count is eager to attack the castle and has scouted the area around the palace. Ferrando approaches him and informs him that an elderly woman has been seized on the outskirts of the camp and is under suspicion for espionage. It proved to be Azucena, who for a long time had lead a desperate search for her son. At long last, the count has captured the assumed murderer of his brother, and since she also reveals herself as the mother of the archrival Manrico, a plan is soon hatched!
Scene 6 In a hall at Castellor
Manrico and Leonora vow eternal love, but when Manrico hears that his mother has been captured and is to be burnt at the stake he rushes to her rescue – or at least to die with her.
Act 4 • The Execution
Scene 7 At the foot of the dungeon tower at Count di Luna’s palace.
Manrico’s rescue attempt has failed. He and Azucena are now prisoners of the Count who orders them executed at dawn. Leonora pleads with the Count, and when she offers to yield to him in exchange for Manrico’s freedom, the Count accepts. However, Leonora harbours no intention of surrendering to, Count di Luna, and in secrecy she takes a slow-acting poison.
Scene 8 In the dungeon tower
Azucena despairs at having to end her life by being burnt at the stake like her mother, and Manrico tries to comfort her. Leonora is allowed to visit them, and she tells Manrico that he now can walk away as a free man! But since she refuses to follow him he senses a hidden agenda. Not before she dies in his arms does he realize her sacrifice. The Count discovers the deceit and orders the immediate beheading of Manrico. Azucena tries to stop him but is instead forced to witness the execution. She reveals that he has just killed his own brother. Azucena’s mother has been avenged.