Parlando: The COC Blog


Introduction to Il Trovatore

Il Trovatore

What's it all about?

A story about love, betrayal and a gypsy's long-reaching revenge. Il Trovatore is quintessential Italian Grand Opera with a juicy plot worthy of the genre, part twisted story about violence and revenge, and part tragic love story.

The opera opens with a love triangle centered on Leonora, a beautiful lady-in-waiting. She is adored by both Manrico, the son of a gypsy, and the Conte di Luna, a nobleman, but she only has eyes for Manrico. The jealous Conte di Luna challenges Manrico to a duel to the death for her hand, but it's only Act I so they both survive.

Soon after the duel, Manrico discovers the secret that his gypsy mother Azucena has kept from him. It turns out that Manrico is not actually her son, but is the brother of Conte di Luna, his rival for Leonora's affections. Azucena kidnapped him as a child to avenge the death of her mother by the hands of the Conte di Luna's father, but accidentally killed her own son in the process and raised Manrico as her own. 

With his newfound claim and despite Azucena's protests, Manrico rushes to find Leonora and whisk her away from his brother, triggering a series of events that leaves Azucena's mother avenged and everybody else heartbroken.

Why is it special?

Enrico Caruso once said this about Il Trovatore: "All you need is the four best singers in the world." Due to the complex story, frenetic pacing and powerful arias, it is a demanding opera that requires dedication and boundless talent. Il Trovatore is full of hits from start to finish, containing some of the most recognizable pieces in all of opera. It is considered one of Verdi's greatest operas alongside Rigoletto and La traviata.

Watch Alexander Neef, Chorus Master Sandra Horst and Russell Braun (Conte di Luna) describe why Il Trovatore is so exciting


Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in 2012/2013 / comments (2) / permalink


Opera Under 30 Profiles – Kip Sawyer


Kip Sawyer, 18 years old.
University of Toronto student.

1. How were you introduced to opera?

It was a natural progression from my enjoyment of musical theatre. I really liked shows with romantic or dramatic music like The Light in the Piazza, or The Phantom of the Opera, especially the Canadian cast recording featuring the COC's own Rebecca Caine. I realized I should give opera a try since so many of the shows I liked had some operatic influence.

2. What was your first opera?

It was the premiere of Life is a Dream at the Santa Fe Opera. The production was well done, but I disliked the opera because it was too atonal for my tastes. After that, it was over a year and a half until I saw another opera, which was Iphigenia in Tauris at the COC (I listened to and watched a number of recordings in the time between, it's just hard to see live opera when you're in Maine!)

3. How did you find out about the Opera Under 30 program?

Part of my decision to come to Toronto from Maine was all the art and culture that Toronto had to offer over some of the smaller cities where I had been accepted to universities. Thus, some of my university research led me to the COC's website, where I saw the info about the Opera Under 30 program.


Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Opera Under 30 / comments (0) / permalink


Behind the Scenes at the COC – September 7, 2012

Posted by Danielle D'Ornellas / in Behind the Scenes / comments (0) / permalink

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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001



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