In 2001, the centenary of Verdi's death was commemorated around the world, especially in the composer’s homeland, Italy, where he died on January 27th 1901. La Scala in Milan, where many of Verdi’s greatest works were premiered, marked the anniversary by presenting a new production of Il Trovatore, even though it was first performed in January 1853 in Rome and not in Milan.
Riccardo Muti, who was Musical Director of La Scala at the time, chose a new critical version of the score, close to the composer's original vision. This version, which was controversial at the time, contributed to interest the performance in which the orchestra plays a key role. Muti provides a rendition of the opera that is full of energy. Like a painting that has regained its colours after having been restored, the opera sounded revitalized.
In the principal roles, Barbara Fritolli, Leo Nucci, Violetta Urmana and Salvatore Licitra (Toscanini said that to succeed in Il Trovatore, all that was needed was four good singers) are equal to the conductor's ambitions. The stage production by Hugo de Ana, which plays with shadows and obscurity, transports the audience into a visually ambitious dreamlike world.
Antoni Ros-Marbà, Willy Decker – Giorgio Giuseppini (Lodovico), José Cura (Otello), Vittorio Grigolo (Cassio) – Gran Teatre del Liceu
Jesús López Cobos, Giancarlo del Monaco – Inva Mula (Mimi), Laura Giordano (Musetta) – Teatro Real Madrid