Verdi Il Trovatore

 
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  1. Giuseppe Verdi - Il Trovatore - Anvil Chorus
  2. La Rondine
  3. Verdi: Il Trovatore Roberto Alagna
  4. Verdi Il Trovatore Anvil Chorus
  5. Verdi Il Trovatore Youtube

Giuseppe Verdi - Il Trovatore - Anvil Chorus

The action is set in the environs of Zaragoza, the capital of theKingdom of Aragon, and in the mountains of Vizcaya (Biscay), around1412.

The Anvil Chorus is the English term for the Coro di zingari (Italian Gypsy chorus), a piece of music from Act 2, Scene 1 of Giuseppe Verdi's Il trovatore (T.

Note: The story of Il Trovatore is often thought to be muddledand confusing. That is because it does not consist of a single plot,but rather of three separate, intertwining sub-plots.Because the three sub-plots not only run concurrently, but also involvemany of the same characters, a straightforward linear recountingof the various narrations and events of the opera with the characters'motivations and reactions to them can indeed be hard to comprehend at first.The following is a synopsis in the strict sense of the word: it presentsa description of the same events viewed in the context of each of thesemi-independent threads of the story.

War

King Martin I of Aragon died 31 May, 1410, without heirs. No fewer thanseven claimants to the vacant throne appeared, among whom were the lateking's nephew Fernando de Antequera, son of the king of Castile, andJaime de Aragón, Count of Urgel, son of Martin's first cousin andalso husband of his half-sister. After some civil strife, Fernando waschosen king by the Aragonese parliament on 28 June, 1412. [This is thehistorical background. The narrative is fictitious.] The Count of Urgelhas raised a rebellion to press his claims to the throne. Among hiscommanders is Manrico, a gypsy from the mountains of Vizcaya who hasbecome a knight of recognized valor and military prowess. The leaderof the royal forces is the Count di Luna.

La Rondine

TrovatoreMetropolitan

Manrico has risked his life to come to the royal palace of Aliaferia,site of the court of Aragon, on an amorous affair. Intercepted by theCount di Luna, he reveals his identity as the rebel commander, and thetwo prepare to fight.

Manrico prevailed in their duel, and was on the point of slaying the Count,when a mysterious force stayed his hand, as he subsequently relates to hismother, Azucena. The two met again on the battlefield of Pelilla, whereUrgel's forces were routed. Manrico alone bravely stood his ground, but wascut down by the Count di Luna and left for dead. Searching the field,Azucena found him and nursed him back to health. They have returned totheir native mountains, where the gypsies lead a carefree existence.Azucena berates Manrico for not having killed the Count di Luna when hehad a chance, and he swears to do so if they should meet again.The rebel soldier Ruiz arrives with a message: the strategic castleat Castellor has been seized by the rebels, and Manrico has beenordered to take command of its defence.Ignoring Azucena's pleas to remain and warnings that his wounds are stillnot healed, Manrico hurries off.

In a camp before Castellor, soldiers under the command of the Count di Lunaawait the attack on the castle. Reinforcements arrive, and they lookforward eagerly to an easy victory and rich loot. Azucena, who has comedown from the mountains in search of her son, is now brought beforethe Count di Luna: she had been found wandering near the camp and takenprisoner. Recognizing in her the mother of his hated enemy, the Countexults in the punishment he will wreak on her. In the castle, Manricohears of her capture and rushes out to save his mother, or to die in theattempt.

Verdi: Il Trovatore Roberto Alagna

Manrico has been vanquished and captured. He and his mother bothlie imprisoned in a tower of the royal castle Aliaferia, awaiting death.Manrico comforts Azucena; they recall the peace and happiness of theirmountains. At last she falls asleep. The Count arrives and ordersManrico off to be beheaded. He drags Azucena to the window to witnesshis triumph over his enemy.

Love

The Count di Luna is enamored of Leonora, a noble lady-in-waiting tothe Queen of Aragon. He often spends entire nights beneath her balcony.He fears a rival, however, a troubadour who has been heard serenading her.

Leonora strolls withher confidante Ines in the gardens of the palace of Aliaferia by night.She vainly awaits the return of a troubadour with whom she has fallenin love. She describes their first meeting: how an unknown knight inblack armor appeared at a tournament, how she bestowed on him the victor'swreath. Civil war broke out, and he disappeared; only her memories of himremained like a dream. Then one lovely night she heard from her chamberthe song of a troubadour, and in his heartfelt verses she heard her namerepeated. Running to her balcony, she saw that it was he! Since thattime she has known only ecstacy and the intoxication of desire. To Ines'forebodings and councils to forget him, Leonora replies that she isdestined for him: if she cannot live for him, she will die for him.

As Leonora and Ines retire to their rooms, the Count di Luna arrives.Seeing the light from her balcony, he approaches, intent on paying hera visit; but he is suddenly frozen by the distant sound of a lute- thetroubadour! As the troubadour sings his serenade and the Count seetheswith rage, Leonora comes running out of her apartment. In the darkness,she flies into the arms of the startled Count, declaring her love. Asthe troubadour cries out at her faithlessness, moonlight breaks throughthe clouds, revealing a visored knight. Recognizing him, and her error,Leonora throws herself at the troubadour's feet, swearing her love andloyalty. The Count furiously challenges the troubadour to reveal hisidentity, which he does: he is Manrico, a follower of Urgel and condemnedtraitor to the king. He has risked his life to appear at the royal palace. Leonora pleads with the Count to spare Manrico, but his jealous furywill not be stilled; contemptuously, Manrico defies him. The two menprepare to fight as the desperate Leonora collapses.

Manrico's mother Azucena, a gypsy, has been nursing her son back to healthfrom wounds sustained in battle.Manrico tells her the story of his duel with the Count, and how he hadspared the Count's life.The rebel soldier Ruiz arrives with a message: believing him killed in battle,Leonora has determined to renounce the world and take the veilin a convent that very night.Ignoring Azucena's pleas to remain and warnings that his wounds are stillnot healed, Manrico hurries off.

Aware of Leonora's plans, the Count di Luna arrives with his followersat the convent of the Holy Cross, near the castle of Castellor,where Leonora plans to take her vows. He is prepared to prevent Leonorafrom entering the convent. He hopes that the ardour of his love forher will win over her heart at last, but he is ready to seize her byforce: he vows that not even God shall keep her from him. As the nuns areheard in the background, the Count and his men conceal themselves.Leonora arrives in the company of Ines and herattendants. Leonora bids farewell to her ladies, hoping that aftera life of penance she will be reunited with Manrico in heaven. Suddenlythe Count emerges and bars her way: only the wedding altar shall await her.The stunned Leonora hardly has time to remonstrate when Manrico himself,whom all had thought dead, appears. Leonora deliriously confides herselfto Manrico, the Count threatens him with death, and Manrico taunts theCount. Soldiers of Manrico's now arrive and quickly disarm the Countand his own followers. Manrico departs with Leonora for the castle,and the women take refuge in the convent.

The Count di Luna, maddened by the thought of Leonora in the arms ofhis rival, plans an assault at dawn on the castle of Castellor.Azucena, who has come down from the mountains in search of her son,has been found wandering near his military encampment. She isbrought before the Count di Luna for questioning.Recognizing in her the mother of his hated rival,the Count exults in the punishment he will wreak on her.

In the castle, Manrico and Leonora are preparing to wed. Ruiz interruptswith news of Azucena's capture. To the stunned Leonora, Manrico confides thatthis gypsy woman is his mother. Crying out that his filial devotion takesprecedence over even his devotion Leonora, he rushes out to save his mother,or to die in the attempt.

Manrico has been vanquished and captured. He and his mother bothlie imprisoned in a tower of Aliaferia, awaiting death.Leonora arrives at the castle in the company of Ruiz, determined to saveher lover's life at any cost. Leonora dismisses Ruiz, telling him not tofear for her: she looks significantly at a ring on her finger. Sheprays that Manrico may be comforted by her unseen presence, and that he bespared the tortures that rack her own heart. She is terrified to hearthe chant of monks praying for mercy on the soul of the condemned. Manrico'svoice is heard from the tower as he sings a farewell ballad to Leonora.She swears that her love for him shall defy even death.

Leonora conceals herself as the Count emerges from the palace.His love for Leonora is as strong as ever; he would even betray his dutyto the king for her. When the castle was stormed she was nowhere to befound. As he wonders where she is she abruptly steps out and confrontshim. His surprise quickly turns to jealous rage as she pleads forManrico's life. She offers to die in Manrico's place, but her evidentdevotion only fans his anger. Leonora then tries a different tack: sheoffers herself to the Count in return for Manrico's being set free. TheCount at first cannot believe his ears, but she swears that if the Countwill let her into the prison to set Manrico free, she will be his.The Count consents. He instructs a guard to free Manrico; as he is doingso Leonora secretly swallows the poison she has concealed in her ring.She will belong to the Count, but as a corpse. The Count and Leonoraexult, he in his happiness to have won Leonora, she to be givingher life to save Manrico.

In their dungeon, Manrico comforts Azucena; they recall the peace andhappiness of their mountains. At last she falls asleep. Leonoraarrives and tells Manrico he is free, bidding him to leave at once.When he discovers that she cannot go with him he gallantly refuses.Suddenly an awful thought occurs to him: at what price has Leonorapurchased his freedom? Accusing her of having betrayed their love,he denounces and curses Leonora. Leonora is now succumbing to the poison.As she lies dying she confesses that she would rather die Manrico'sthan live another's. Manrico is beside himself at having cursed this angel.The Count appears and understands how he has been deceived. Furiously heorders Manrico off to be beheaded. He drags Azucena to the window to witnesshis triumph over his rival and enemy.

Revenge

Soldiers and servants of the Count di Luna drowsily await his returnto the palace of Aliaferia from his vigil at Leonora's balcony late onenight. They ask Ferrando, the captain of the guard, to tell them the storyof the Count's brother, Garzia. He relates how the old Count had two sons,the present Count and a younger brother. One night the baby brother's nurseawoke to discover an old gypsy woman in the room, looking over the infantin his cradle. The gypsy wore symbols of sorcery, and the terrified nursethought she was casting an evil spell on the baby. The gypsy protestedthat she was only casting the baby's horoscope, but she was immediatelyejected from the palace. The baby soon sickened and lay near death.Convinced that the gypsy had indeed bewitched him, the people hunted herdown and burned her at the stake. But the gypsy woman had a daughter whotook a terrible revenge: the baby disappeared, and not long afterward thehalf-burnt skeleton of a child was discovered on the still smoldering emberswhere the old gypsy had been burned. The broken-hearted old Count nursedthe hope that his second son still lived. Before he died he bade thepresent Count never to give up the search for his lost brother. Thedaughter of the old gypsy was never found, although Ferrando is sure thateven after all these years he would recognize her immediately if he eversaw her again. It is believed that the old gypsy's ghost still haunts thepalace, and grisly stories are told of her doings; at the sudden strikingof the midnight bell the thoroughly frightened servants disperse in terror.

In the mountains of Vizcaya, a band of gypsies are gathered round a largefire. As dawn breaks they are forging metal trinkets, which they soongo off to sell. Azucena broods over the fire. She sings a ballad of apitiful woman being dragged by a howling mob toward the flames. As theothers depart, Manrico, who has been lying at her side, asks her to tellher the story that inspired such a sad song. She is surprised that he doesnot know the story of his own grandmother, but since boyhood ambition hasled him to wander far from his home. She tells him how her mother wasaccused by a haughty Count of having bewitched his young son; how she wasbrought in chains to meet her doom at this very spot; how she herselffollowed, her own baby in her arms, weeping; how her mother tried tostop and bless her, but was viciously thrust upon the stake.Her mother's last words, in her death agony, were 'Avenge me!'Those words have ever since echoed in her heart. Manrico asks if she wasavenged. Azucena replies that she abducted the Count's son and brought himhere, where the fire still burned. The baby cried piteously; her maternalfeelings broke her heart; suddenly a horrible vision appeared: the killers;the torture; her mother crying out 'Avenge me!' Blindly she siezed thevictim in her trembling hand and thrust it on the fire. In an instantthe vision was gone. Only the raging flames remained, consuming theirprey; and there beside her was the son of the wicked Count. It was herown son she had cast into the fire! She shudders at the recollectionof that moment; Manrico is horror-struck. Suddenly the thought strikes him:who is he, he wonders, if he is not her son? Azucena assures him that heis indeed her son, that the recollection of that awful event has broughtfoolish words to her lips. She has always cared for him with the tenderlove of a mother. When she recently heard news of his death in the battleof Pelilla, she hastened to the field to give him a proper burial, foundyet a breath of life in him, and lovingly nursed him back to health.Manrico, recalling how he received his wounds from the evil Count di Luna,whose life he himself had previously spared in a duel, wonders now whyhe did so. The Count had fallen, Manrico prepared to thrust the swordthrough him, when his hand was mysteriously stayed: he heard a cry fromheaven not to strike. Azucena says that the Count did not hear thesame cry from heaven. She implores Manrico, if they should ever fightagain, to plunge his sword to the hilt through the ingrate's heart, andManrico swears he will do so.Urgent news now calls Manrico away. Azucena pleads with him to remain:his wounds are not yet fully healed, and he will reopen them. His bloodis hers, and every drop he sheds is squeezed from her heart. But he isconsumed with passion: heaven and earth cannot stop him from his mission.Ignoring Azucena's pleas, Manrico hurries off.

Azucena has come searching for Manrico. In Castellor she stumbles ontoa military encampment, where the Count di Luna is preparing an assulton the castle. She is apprehended as a possible spy and brought beforethe Count. To his questions she replies evasively that as a gypsy shewanders everywhere freely. The Count asks where she came from, and shesays the mountains of Vizcaya; her answer immediately raises suspicionsin the minds of the Count and Ferrando. She tells how she has beenwandering about, seeking a son who had abandoned her, a son who hascost her heart great grief: her love for him is one felt by no othermother on earth. The Count asks if she recalls a Count's child,stolen from the castle over 15 years ago. She asks the Count who heis: he replies, the brother of the stolen child. She cries out, andFerrando realizes that she is the one who burned the child. Wildy shedenies the accusation. The Count tells her that she will not escapeher fate. Desperately, she cries out for her son, Manrico, to cometo her aid. Recognizing in her now the mother of his enemy and hishated rival, as well as the killer of his brother, the Count exultsin the punishment he will wreak on her.

In the castle of Castellor, Manrico hears of Azucena's capture: atthe window he sees a pyre already lit. The horrible blaze enflameshim: he will quench it with the blood of her tormenters. He rushesout to save his mother, or to die in the attempt.

Manrico and Azucena both lie imprisoned in Aliaferia,awaiting death. Azucena is maddened by visions of her mother's tortureddeath at the stake, of her own impending doom.Manrico comforts Azucena; they recall the peace and happiness of theirmountains. At last she falls asleep. The Count arrives and ordersManrico off to be beheaded. Azucena begs him to stop. He drags herto the window to witness his triumph over his rival and enemy.'He was your brother!' she cries; 'Mother, you are avenged!'

Verdi Il Trovatore Anvil Chorus

synopsis copyright Richard S. Bogart, 1997

Recording

Verdi Il Trovatore Youtube

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