Show artwork for Il Trovatore

Il Trovatore Il Trovatore

Composed by Giuseppe Verdi

Conducted by James Conlon

Sep 18 - Oct 10, 2021

Production new to Los Angeles

At the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Il Trovatore played its final performance on Oct. 10.

LA Opera is back in a big way: an epic new-to-LA production of this ever-popular tale of revenge, dangerous passions and fatal mistakes. Two brothers find themselves fighting on opposite sides of a war...and for the love of the same woman.

Verdi virtuoso James Conlon conducts a world-class cast to bring all the high-stakes drama and soaring melodies to life, including the thunderous “Anvil Chorus.” Join us as the curtain rises again.

All tickets now on sale below and include our ticket guarantee: should anything change and you don’t feel comfortable joining us, we’ll be happy to exchange or refund your tickets free of charge. Save more when you purchase a 2021/22 subscription package.

Important COVID-19 Audience Policy Update:
LA Opera has adopted a temporary vaccination-only policy in addition to requiring masks. These guidelines will be in effect beginning September 1, 2021 and will end as soon as they are deemed no longer necessary. Please click here to review all protocols.

New Breathe Easy Section
Pending availability, LA Opera has made some seats available in certain sections where the seat next to you and your party could be blocked off. Seats in our Breathe Easy Section are extremely limited and available only by calling the Box Office at 213.972.8001.

Pre-performance talk update:
Each season, James Conlon’s pre-show talks are an enormously popular highlight of every performance he conducts. Since Stern Grand Hall is currently unavailable for large, stationary gatherings (due to COVID-19 restrictions), the pre-show talk for Il Trovatore has been reimagined.

This time, James Conlon’s Il Trovatore talk will be filmed and made available to watch from home before or after the performance. Additionally, for three performances of Il Trovatore—September 22, 25 and October 3 —the talk will be screened on large outdoor monitors on the Music Center Plaza for audiences to enjoy, beginning one hour before the opera.

"There were thrillingly big, bold voices. There was an exquisite soprano. There was a chorus, glorious. There was an orchestra sounding so rich and strong and colorful."

Los Angeles Times


Manrico (Sep 18 - Oct 3)
Limmie Pulliam
Manrico (Oct 6-10)
Gregory Kunde
Guanqun Yu
Raehann Bryce-Davis
Vladimir Stoyanov
Morris Robinson
Tiffany Townsend
Orson Van Gay II

Creative Team

James Conlon
Francisco Negrín
Louis Désiré
Bruno Poet
Grant Gershon
Fight Director
Andrew Kenneth Moss

Read the synopsis

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Part One: The Duel
The opera is set in 15th-century Spain during a period of civil war. The present ruler, the Prince of Aragon, is battling the forces of the Prince of Urgel to hold onto the throne. Count di Luna, a leading supporter of the Prince of Aragon, is obsessively in love with Leonora, a lady-in-waiting of the Princess of Aragon. The Count knows that an unknown troubadour has been singing outside Leonora’s window in the palace gardens, but he still has hopes to win her over as the action of the opera begins.

Ferrando, the captain of the guard commanded by Count di Luna, tells his men a story. Many years ago, when the Count was still a child, his infant brother was thought to be bewitched by an old Romani woman. She was hunted down and burned at the stake. Her daughter Azucena avenged this killing by kidnapping the boy. Later, a child’s burned body was found on the same spot where the old woman had been executed.

Leonora, walking in her garden with her friend Inez, speaks of her love for Manrico, the troubadour who has been serenading her. She hears his voice and rushes to him. In the darkness, she encounters Count di Luna, whom she momentarily mistakes for Manrico. When Manrico appears, the Count challenges him to a duel. Manrico is wounded as they fight for the woman they both love.

Part Two: The Romani Woman
In a Roma camp, Manrico has been nursed back to health by Azucena, his mother. She tells him the same story Ferrando had related to his men—adding extra details. She recalls watching her mother die at the hands of the elder Count’s soldiers and resolving to fulfill her mother’s final wish: “Avenge me!” But when the time came to throw the elder Count’s baby into the flames, she hesitated. Confused and uncertain, she accidentally threw her own baby into the fire. This story causes Manrico to question his identity, but Azucena says that she has misspoken, overwhelmed by the grief of her terrible ordeal. She assures him she has always been a loving mother to him.

A messenger arrives with the orders for Manrico to return to battle. He adds that Leonora, who believes he was killed in battle, has decided to enter a convent. Manrico rushes off to stop her, paying no attention to Azucena’s protests that he is not yet fully healed.

Scene Two takes place in the courtyard of the convent. Driven virtually mad by his passion for Leonora, Count di Luna approaches with Ferrando and some of their men, with the intention of abducting her. When Leonora arrives, Count di Luna emerges from hiding and announces his intentions. Manrico appears at that moment, and the rival factions fight. Count di Luna and his men are beaten back, and Manrico escapes with Leonora.


Part Three: Her Son
Scene One takes place in Count di Luna’s camp. Manrico and Leonora are besieged in the castle of Castellor. Count di Luna’s army is preparing for battle. The guards enter, dragging in Azucena, whom they have caught prowling around the camp. Count di Luna questions her, discovers her identity, and orders her to be tortured and killed.

Scene Two takes place in Castellor, where Leonora and Manrico are about to be married. As the ceremony is about to begin, news arrives of Azucena’s capture. Manrico and his men rush off to save her.

Part Four: The Execution
Scene One returns us to the castle where the opera opened. Manrico has been captured and is scheduled to be executed the next morning. Leonora speaks of her anguish as a group of monks chant the Miserere. Count di Luna enters, and Leonora offers herself to him if he will save Manrico. He agrees, but she surreptitiously swallows poison, preferring death to being unfaithful to her love.

The final scene is set in the prison shared by Manrico and Azucena. Manrico is attempting to comfort her when Leonora enters. She tells him he is free to go, but he immediately guesses the price she is willing to pay for his freedom. He denounces her and rejects the offer. As she falls dying into his arms, he realizes that she was willing to sacrifice her life for his. Count di Luna enters, sees Leonora dead, and orders his guards to take Manrico to be executed immediately. They comply with his orders, and Azucena tells him that he just killed his own brother. She cries out that her mother is now avenged.

A Note from Director Francisco Negrín

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A Note from Director Francisco Negrín

"Music is the only domain in which humans realize the present. By the imperfection of its nature, humanity is condemned to be submitted to the passing of timeto past and futurewithout being able to give substance, and hence stability, to the present."Igor Stravinsky, An Autobiography (1930)

Il Trovatore is a ghost story, a dark thriller that tells us how the specters of our need for revenge (Azucena), of our regrets (Manrico) or our unquenched desires (Count di Luna) imprison us and kill us.

Il Trovatore is the weight of the past. That past that haunts us, that past that destroys all possibility of living in the present, the future or love. 

Only Leonora (just like her namesake in Fidelio) understands that love and living in the present are the only paths to follow and she helps Manrico accompany her.  

Azucenahaunted by her mother and her son, who were both burned aliveis the medium through which the past throws its fiery net and consumes everything.

The errors we commit by refusing to freely live in the present repeat themselves like the refrains in the ballads of the troubadours…

Listen now: "Il Trovatore" in Context with James Conlon

Click here to listen to the rest of our podcast episodes on this Verdi masterpiece.

Click here to read James Conlon's program note on Il Trovatore.

Click here to read the digital program.

Production new to Los Angeles

Performed in Italian with English subtitles

Co-production between the Monte Carlo Opera, the Teatro Real Madrid, the Royal Danish Opera Copenhagen.

Running time: approximately two hours, 45 minutes, with one intermission

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2021/22 Season