‘Il trovatore’ at Oper Frankfurt

Leah Crocetto returns to Oper Frankfurt this winter, to sing Leonora in Verdi’s Il trovatore, a role she first debuted at Opéra National de Bordeaux. Alfred Kim is Manrico, Tassis Christoyannis is the Conte di Luna, and Tanja Ariane Baumgartner is Azucena, with Jader Bignamini leading from the pit. Performances run through the holiday season: December 15, 23, 25 & 31 and January 6, 10 & 13. This co-production with the Royal Opera House features a stage direction from David Bösch, with sets by Patrick Bannwart.

“Leah Crocetto’s Leonora was certainly one to be indulged, with her confident control of pianissimi, long-breathed lines, hall-filling high notes and warm tone. And she had the goods to insert several interpolated notes and to execute the rarely programmed cabaletta following the “Miserere.” (Classical Voice North America)

Synopsis:

A woman traumatised by seeing her mother being burned alive became so hysterical that she mixed up two children, throwing her own onto the fire. The story of two brothers who, ignorant of one another, love the same woman, is no less tragic. In order to tell the bizzare storyline and take the contradictions in the story seriously, David Bösch and his team show everything: an Azucena, driven by vindictiveness, a Leonora who, for love’s sake, chooses suicide, a Manrico who, mad with jealousy, accuses dying Leonora of unfaithfulness and a Luna, driven by hate and unaware of their backgrounds, kills his own brother.

Il trovatore has polarised audiences ever since it was first performed in 1853: questioning the horror in the confusing tale on one hand – witches are burned, children stolen, novices abducted, poison taken and executions carried out – applause and joy for the belcanto numbers and rousing choruses on the other. Although the protagnists react as victims of madness, hate, jealousy, love and revenge, Il trovatore is still one of Verdi’s most popular operas.