The Metropolitan Opera presents Verdi’s ‘II Trovatore’ showing in Breckenridge
and Cecile Forsberg
Special to the Daily
if you go
What: Met Opera Live in HD: Il Trovatore, Verdi
When: Saturday, Oct. 3, 10:55 a.m.
Where: Colorado Mountain College, Finkel Auditorium, 107 Denison Placer Road, Breckenridge
Cost: Tickets: Student $10 / Senior (65+) $16 / Adult $20
More information: www.nromusic.com or 970.453.5825
The Metropolitan Opera has selected Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) as the opening HD broadcast for the 2015-16 season. “Il Trovatore” was initially presented in 1883 at the then-new Metropolitan Opera House. The HD broadcast airs live this Saturday, Oct. 3, beginning at 10:55 a.m., at the Finkel Auditorium in the Breckenridge Colorado Mountain College.
“II Trovatore” remains a pillar of the repertoire with a total of nine new productions and four opening-night appearances since that time. Verdi’s turbulent tragedy of four characters caught in a web of family ties, politics and love has become a mainstay of the operatic repertory, describing the most extreme expressions of Romanticism. The score has been described as “melodic, energetic and infused with infectious tunes that are not easily forgotten.” The anvil chorus that opens Act II of this opera is a prime example.
Of particular note in this production is the role of the tragic heroine, Leonora, to be sung and acted by Russian soprano, Anna Netrebko. A recent review of the opening production describes her singing throughout the performance as being full of “delicacy and lightness, interposed with vocal expressions of intense emotion,” with the exception of protagonist periods when in conflict with one of the main characters. Yet, Verdi’s music certainly does much of this on its own, with Netrebko adding her own touches to make it a deeply personal performance.
Accolades were also directed to Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, for his role in singing and acting the part of Count di Luna, a nobleman in charge of a Spanish army battalion. His singing in this performance has been described as vocalizing seemingly endless phrases that have made him one of the most treasured baritones of his generation. Hvorostovsky has sung roles in many past Metropolitan Opera performances but has now announced that the upcoming HD broadcast will be his last as he is returning to England to be treated for what has recently been diagnosed as a brain tumor.
Tenor Yonghoon Lee will make his Metropolitan Opera debut as Manrico, the “troubadour” in what is considered his breakthrough performance. In the opera plot, Manrico is leading an opposition force against Count di Luna. At the end of the opera, it is revealed that di Luna and Manrico discover too late that they are brothers, unknown to one another before Manrico’s death.
This recognition of brotherhood comes about from past troubled stories told in several of the opera scenes by the Gypsy Azucena, sung by mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick. Of interest, Zajick is the Met’s reigning Azucena, making her debut in this role in 1988. Now nearly three decades have “not softened her portrayal in the least; at 63, she still brings a dark, imposing instrument to the stage, and craftily hides her malice under a world-weary façade.”
The conductor of this performance will be Marco Armiliato, who has been described as “keeping a firm grip on the orchestra, with an intelligent straightforward reading of the score.” Several choral renditions when the choristers serve as members of one of the soldier encampments, as part of the Gypsy camp, or as convent parishioners. The original setting for the opera was in northern Spain in the early 15th century, during a time of a prolonged civil war. The setting of the current production places the action during the Peninsular War (1808–1814), when Spain and its allies were fighting the forces of Napoleon.
The interwoven actions of the several characters, both in love and hostility are too complex to describe in a few words. However, the music will send you home humming familiar tunes. Beverages and snacks will be served during the single intermission.
The Met Opera is a partnership between Colorado Mountain College and the National Repertory Orchestra. Elmer Koneman is a volunteer and opera enthusiast; Cecile Forsberg is the artistic and operations director with the NRO.
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