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
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