Verdi's Il Trovatore

Cesare Lievi (stage director), Zubin Mehta (conductor) — With Amartuvshin Enkhbat (The count of Luna), María José Siri (Leonora), Ekaterina Semenchuck (Azucena)...

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Cesare Lievi — Stage director

Luigi Perego — Set designer, costume designer

Luigi Saccomandi — Lighting

Amartuvshin Enkhbat — The count of Luna

María José Siri — Leonora

Ekaterina Semenchuk — Azucena

Fabio Sartori — Manrico

Riccardo Fassi — Ferrando

Caterina Meldolesi — Ines

Alfonso Zambuto — Ruiz

Davide Piva — An old gypsy

Joseph Dahdah — A messenger

Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Lorenzo Fratini — Chorus Master

Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Program notes

Azucena’s eternal vengeance comes back to set the stage ablaze in the timeless drama of Verdi’s Il trovatore, staged specially for the 2022 Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Autumn Festival and conducted by the great Zubin Mehta! Witch-hunts, love triangles, lost children, and poisoned drinks all have a part to play, but the Spanish gypsy Azucena forms the heart of the action—indeed, Verdi initially planned to name the opera after her. She is, for Verdi scholar Julian Budden, “the first in a glorious line” of female characters with similar features: think of Ulrica in Un ballo in Maschera, Eboli in Don Carlos, Amneris in Aida.

In this dramatic mezzo-soprano role, Ekaterina Semenchuck stands out for her pathos and tragic nature, joined by experienced Verdian interpreter Fabio Sartori as the titular troubadour Manrico. Among the highlights, we would be remiss not to mention  the duet L’onda dei suoni mistici, the only moment of idyllic peace granted to the protagonist and his love interest—the noble Leonora, played by the incredible María José Siri. For his part, the splendid Amartuvshin Enkhbat, winner of the 2012 Operalia Competition, brings the “voice of a true Verdian baritone” to his unforgettable Conte di Luna.

Legendary conductor Zubin Mehta, leading the festival’s faultless orchestra and chorus, is yet another mark of the success of this production, brought to vivid life by veteran stage director Cesare Lievi with sets and costumes by Luigi Perego.

Photo © Alberto Conti

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