Il trovatore

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Il trovatore (The Troubadour) is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El Trovador (1836) by Antonio García Gutiérrez. Cammarano died in mid-1852 before completing the libretto. This gave the composer the opportunity to propose significant revisions, which were accomplished under his direction by the young librettist, Leone Emanuele Bardare, [1] and they are seen largely in the expansion of the role of Leonora.

The opera was first performed at the Teatro Apollo, Rome, on 19 January 1853 where it "began a victorious march throughout the operatic world"[2]. Today it is given very frequently and is a staple of the standard operatic repertoire. It appears at number 17 on Opera America's list of the 20 most-performed operas in North America.[3]


Performance history

The opera's immensely popularity, with some 229 productions worldwide in the following three years,[4] is illustrated by the fact that "in Naples, for example, where the opera in its first three years had eleven stagings in six theaters, the performances totaled 190".[4]

It was first performed in Paris in Italian on 23 December 1854 by the Théâtre des Italiens at the Salle Ventadour.[5] The cast included Lodovico Graziani as Manrico and Adelaide Borghi-Mamo as Azucena.[6][7] A French version translated by E. Milien Pacini and called Le trouvère was first performed at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels on 20 May 1856 and at the Paris Opéra's Salle Le Peletier on 12 January 1857. The Emperor and Empress attended the latter performance.[5] Verdi made some changes to the score for the French premiere of Le trouvère including the addition of music for the ballet in Act 3 and several revisions focusing on the music of Azucena, including an extended version of the finale of Act 4, to accommodate the role's singer Borghi-Mamo. Some of these changes have even been used in modern performances in Italian.[8][9]

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