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Seattle Opera.

Overview

The May 23, 2020 broadcast of this production on 98.1 KING FM was originally recorded on January 19, 2019. It features Angela Meade as Leonora, Martin Muehle as Manrico, Nora Sourouzian as Azucena, and Michael Mayes as Di Luna. Full cast list is available below.

By Giuseppe Verdi

Packed with more hit songs than any opera but Carmen, Verdi’s hot-blooded melodrama thrills with swift action, intense pathos, and multiple moments where singers shine. During a time of civil war, a mother’s love clashes with a dark secret from her past as two rival soldiers feud for the favor of a noblewoman with a secret of her own. The abundance of masterful music had audiences shouting “Viva Verdi!” after its premiere. Our grand presentation of Verdi’s masterpiece fills McCaw Hall with more than 75 cast members, imposing sets and elaborate period costumes for an unforgettable night at the opera.

Watch the preview

© Rozarii Lynch.

Listen to the music

© Rozarii Lynch.

In Italian with English Subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Performance Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes including 1 intermission.

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Synopsis

Ferrando and his men, soldiers of Count di Luna, fortify themselves after a vicious battle in Spanish Aragon. To keep the men alert and on guard, Ferrando reminds the men of the reason they fight: the story of the two sons of the former Count (father of the current Count). Long ago an old traveling peasant woman was accused of bewitching the Count’s younger son, still an infant, who had turned sick. The witch was burned. In revenge, the woman’s daughter abducted the sickly baby and beside the witch’s bones were found the charred remains of a child. The old Count never believed his son had been killed and, on his deathbed, made his surviving son swear an oath that he would never give up the search for his younger brother. Ferrando, who witnessed these events, swears that he would recognize the witch’s daughter to this day.

Elsewhere in the palace, Leonora, a lady-in-waiting to the princess, tells her friend Inez about a mysterious troubadour who serenades her each night.

Count di Luna, who is infatuated with Leonora, watches her lustfully in secret. As the troubadour begins serenading Leonora, she rushes towards his voice. But in the darkness, she mistakes the Count for her love. The troubadour corrects her mistake by revealing himself: Manrico, champion of the rebel army. The Count challenges him to a duel.

As dawn rises on a rebel encampment, Manrico’s rebels sing the Anvil Chorus, working endlessly to create more weapons for the continuing war. Azucena, a troubled old woman, sings a haunting story about an innocent woman burning at the stake. Manrico is left alone with Azucena, his mother, who found him on a battlefield left for dead. He asks her why she always sings that song. Azucena explains that her mother was burned to death by the Count’s men. As she watched her die, Azucena heard her mother scream “Avenge me!” Driven by the plea, Azucena abducted the Count’s infant brother, with the intention of burning him too. She took the baby as well as her own child to the pyre. But the baby began crying, and she found she could not go through with the crime. Her mother’s screams and the baby’s wailing overwhelmed her senses, and in her frenzy she pushed a child into the fire. She recovered her sanity and realized, in horror, that she has killed her own son.

Hearing her delirious story, Manrico is hurt. Who is he if not her son? Azucena insists that he is her son. She begs Manrico to avenge his grandmother by killing the Count. She asks why he failed to do so in the duel. Manrico explains that he was ready to strike the killing blow when a mysterious power stayed his hand.

A messenger brings Manrico news that his beloved Leonora, believing him dead, is going to enter a convent. Despite Azucena’s pleading that he stay, he rushes off to find Leonora.

Count di Luna also hears about Leonora’s plans and arrives at the convent with a group of men to abduct her. Manrico and his men arrive and he escapes with Leonora amidst the melee.

Intermission

Di Luna’s men prepare to attack the fortress where Manrico has taken Leonora. They find Azucena, who is wandering nearby desperately searching for her son. She is brought to the Count and Ferrando recognizes her as the witch who killed the Count’s infant brother. In desperation, Azucena screams for help, yelling her son’s name. The Count realizes she is Manrico’s mother. Di Luna has her tortured, setting in motion a plan that he hopes will trap his rival and avenge his dead brother.

Leonora and Manrico, cowering in the chapel of their besieged fortress, pledge themselves to one another when they learn that the Count has captured Azucena. Manrico gathers his remaining forces and rushes off to mount a desperate rescue.

But he’s captured and awaits execution in di Luna’s prison along with Azucena. Leonora offers herself to the Count in exchange for Manrico’s freedom. Di Luna agrees, so long as she never see Manrico again. But once his back is turned, Leonora swallows a dose of deadly poison.

In their prison cell, Manrico tries to comfort Azucena, who keeps seeing the vision of her mother burning at the stake. Leonora comes to release Manrico, who guesses at the bargain she has struck with di Luna. Outraged by what he perceives as her infidelity, he refuses to flee, despite her entreaties. Only when she succumbs to the poison does he understand what she has done. Di Luna enters the prison as Leonora dies in Manrico’s arms, and the Count forces Azucena to watch Manrico’s execution. Azucena tells the Count that he has murdered his brother. Her mother is finally avenged.

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Cast

Leah Crocetto

Leonora

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Leonora, Il trovatore

Hometown: Spartanburg, SC
Seattle Opera Debut: Aida, Aida ('18)
Recently: Norma, Norma (North Carolina Opera); Floria Tosca, Tosca (Pittsburgh Opera); Elisabetta, Don Carlo (Washington National Opera); Leonora, Il trovatore (Oper Frankfurt); Liù, Turandot (San Francisco Opera)

Last updated: October 2018

Leah Crocetto

Leonora

Jan. 12, 16, 20, & 25

Angela Meade

Leonora

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Angela Meade & Jamie Barton in Concert 

Hometown: Centralia, WA
Seattle Opera Debut: Leonora, Il trovatore ('19)
Recently: Ermione, Ermione (Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli); Aida, Aida (Gran Teatro del Liceu); Elisabetta, Robert Devereux (Los Angeles Opera)
Upcoming: Imogene, Il pirata (Metropolitan Opera); Norma, Norma (Teatro Municipale di Piacenza)

Last updated: September 2020

Angela Meade

Leonora

Seattle Opera Debut
Jan. 13, 19, 23, & 26

Arnold Rawls

Manrico

At Seattle Opera 2018/19: Manrico, Il trovatore

Hometown: West Monroe, Louisiana
Seattle Opera Debut: Il trovatore ('10)
Recently: Calaf, Turandot, Manrico, Il trovatore (Metropolitan Opera); Radamès, Aida (Opera Australia); Don José, Carmen (Bregenzer Festspiele)
Upcoming: Hagenbach, La Wally and Erik, Die Fliegende Höllander (Oper St. Gallen); Calaf, Turandot (Bregenzer Festspiele)

Last Updated: December 2018

Arnold Rawls

Manrico

Jan. 12, 16, 20, & 25

Martin Muehle

Manrico

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Manrico, Il trovatore

Hometown: Mannheim, Germany
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Don José, Carmen (Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow); Calaf, Turandot (Oper Köln); Don José, Carmen (Bregenzer Festspiele
Upcoming: Andrea Chénier, Andrea Chénier (Teatro Comunale di Modena); Andrea Chénier, Andrea Chénier (Teatro Regio di Parma); Canio, Pagliacci (Teatro Massimo di Palermo)

Last updated: October 2018

Martin Muehle

Manrico

Seattle Opera Debut
Jan. 13, 19, 23, & 26

Elena Gabouri

Azucena

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Azucena, Il trovatore

Hometown: Paris, France
Seattle Opera Debut: Amneris, Aida ('18)
Recently: Amneris, Aida (Opera Australia and Arena di Verona); Amneris, Aida (Arena di Verona); Ulrica, Un ballo in maschera (Seoul Opera Center); Azucena, Il trovatore (Opéra de Lille)

Last updated: October 2018

Elena Gabouri

Azucena

Jan. 12, 16, 20, & 25

Nora Sourouzian

Azucena

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Azucena, Il trovatore

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Azucena, Il trovatore (Oper Graz); Soloist, Die Wiese von Liebe und Tod des Cornets (Orchestre de Chambre de Genève); Azucena, Il trovatore (Aalto-Musiktheater Essen)
Upcoming: Azucena, Il trovatore (Theater St Gallen)

Last updated: October 2018

Nora Sourouzian

Azucena

Seattle Opera Debut
Jan. 13, 19, 23, & 26

Lester Lynch

Di Luna

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Rigoletto, Rigoletto

Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Seattle Opera Debut:  Crown, Porgy and Bess (’95)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Crown, Porgy and Bess (’18), Di Luna, Il trovatore ('19, '97)
Recently: Enrico, Lucia di Lammermoor (English National Opera); Doktor Faust, Doktor Faust (Semperopera Dresden); Shylock, The Merchant of Venice (Royal Opera House)
Upcoming: Macbeth, Macbeth (Florentine Opera); Simon Boccanegra, Simon Boccanegra (Washington Concert Opera); Judge Turpin, Sweeny Todd (Bergen National Opera)

Last updated: July 2019

Lester Lynch

Di Luna

Jan. 12, 16, 20, & 25

Michael Mayes

Di Luna

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Alfio/Tonio, Pagliacci & Cavalleria rusticana

Hometown: Cut-n-Shoot, TX
Seattle Opera Debut: Di Luna, Il trovatore ('19)
Recently: Rigoletto, Rigoletto (Houston Grand Opera); Joseph de Rocher, Dead Man Walking (The Israeli Opera); Richard Nixon, Nixon In China (Staatsoper Stuttgart)
Upcoming: Rigoletto, Rigoletto (Nashville Opera) Daddy/Mr. Floyd, The Copper Queen (Arizona Opera [premiere]); Beck, Everest (BBC Orchestra)

Last updated: December 2019

Michael Mayes

Di Luna

Seattle Opera Debut
Jan. 13, 19, 23, & 26

Adam Lau

Ferrando

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Alidoro, Cinderella

Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Seattle Opera Debut: Papa, Makoto Kobayashi, An American Dream (’15)
Previously at Seattle Opera: The Speaker, The Magic Flute (’17); Ferrando, Il trovatore ('19); Kōbun Chino Otogawa, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs ('19)
Recently: Ferrando, Il Trovatore (Seattle Opera); Creon, Medea (Wexford Festival); Sarastro, The Magic Flute (Kentucky Opera)
Upcoming: Raimondo, Lucia di Lammermoor (Lyric Opera of Kansas City); Basilio, The Barber of Seville (Dallas Opera); Bass Soloist, Messiah (Carnegie Hall)

Last Updated: August 2019

Adam Lau

Ferrando

Jan. 12, 13, 16, 19, 20, 23, 25, & 26

Nerys Jones

Inez

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Giovanna, Rigoletto

Hometown: Llanfair Caereinion, Wales 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Inez, Il trovatore ('19)
Recently: Second Lady, The Magic Flute (Vashon Opera); Marcellina, The Marriage of Figaro (Tacoma Opera); Female Chorus, The Rape of Lucretia (Tacoma Opera)
Upcoming: Recitals in Vancouver BC and Seattle; Soloist, Messiah (Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers)

Last updated: July 2019

Nerys Jones

Inez

Seattle Opera Debut
Jan. 12, 13, 16, 19, 20, 23, 25, & 26

John Marzano

Ruiz

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Ruiz, Il trovatore; and Le Remendado, Carmen

Hometown: Tacoma, WA
Seattle Opera Debut: Giuseppe, La traviata (’17)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Ruiz, Il trovatore (’19)
Recently: Camille de Rosillon, The Merry Widow (Tacoma Opera); Tony, West Side Story (Symphony Tacoma); Arturo, Lucia di Lammermoor (Vashon Opera)
Upcoming: Alfredo, La traviata (Vashon Opera)

Last updated: April 2019

John Marzano

Ruiz

Jan. 12, 13, 16, 19, 20, 23, 25, & 26

Cast

Creative Team

Dan Wallace Miller

Stage Director

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Three Singing Sisters
At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Tosca

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Seattle Opera Debut: The Combat (’17)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Il trovatore ('19)
Recently: Director, Carmen (Kentucky Opera); Director, Apprentice Artists Scenes Program (Central City Opera); Director, Il trovatore (Seattle Opera); Associate Director, Silent Night (Washington National Opera); Director, The Magic Flute (Pacific MusicWorks)
Upcoming: Director, Don Giovanni (Opera Naples)

Last updated: December 2019

Dan Wallace Miller

Stage Director

Carlo Montanaro

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: The Elixir of Love

Hometown: Cecina, Italy
Seattle Opera Debut
Don Quichotte (’11) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Rigoletto ('20); Il trovatore ('19); Madame Butterfly (’17); Mary Stuart (’16)
Recently:
 The Barber of Seville and La Traviata (Opéra National de Paris); Nabucco (Deutsche Oper Berlin)
Upcoming: Tosca (Opéra National de Paris), Fedora (Frankfurt Opera), Il Turco in Italia (Teatro San Carlo di Napoli).

Last Updated: September 2020

Carlo Montanaro

Conductor

John Conklin

Original Set & Costume Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Il trovatore

Hometown: New York, NY
Seattle Opera Debut: Set designer, Don Pasquale (’86)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Costume designer, Il trovatore (’10); Set designer, La traviata (’09); Set designer, War and Peace (’90); Set designer, Norma (’94)
Recently: Set designer, The Barber of Seville (Glimmerglass Festival); Set designer, Semiramide (Metropolitan Opera); Set designer, La traviata (San Francisco Opera)
Upcoming: Set designer, Pelléas et Mélisande (Metropolitan Opera)

Last updated: October 2018

John Conklin

Original Set & Costume Designer

Candace Frank

Costume Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: The Combat

Candace Frank previously designed Don Giovanni for Seattle Opera's Young Artists Program.  She has been designing and teaching for 14 years and is currently Costume Lead at Seattle University. She recently held the positions of Costume Shop Manager at Intiman Theatre and Costume Manager at ACT Theatre, and Seattle Met magazine named her a Seattle Artist to Watch. She has designed costumes for many local theaters, including Stick Fly with Intiman Theatre; Penelope and The Magic Flute with Vespertine Opera; Jesus Moonwalked the Mississippi and The Wild Party with Sound Theatre Company; and many costumes with Lucia Neare's Theatrical Wonders.

Last updated: March 2017

Candace Frank

Costume Designer

Christophe Forey

Lighting Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Il trovatore

Hometown: Paris, France

Seattle Opera Debut

Recently: The Italian Girl in Algiers (Salzburg Festival); Teseo (Theater an der Wien); Die Zauberflöte (Wiener Staatsoper)

Upcoming: Madama Butterfly (Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona)

Last updated: December 2018