Show artwork for Il Trovatore

Il Trovatore Il Trovatore

Composed by Giuseppe Verdi

Conducted by James Conlon

September 18 — October 10, 2021

Production New to Los Angeles

At the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

And you thought your family was dramatic.

Dangerous passions, fatal mistakes, and terrible secrets leave two families filled with a bitter thirst for revenge (and an extreme distaste for magic). To make matters worse, two brothers unwittingly fall in love with the same woman and unleash a firestorm of fatal reckoning in the process.

Our Verdi master, James Conlon, conducts the incredible LA Opera Orchestra and Chorus — who get to sing the quintessential "Anvil Chorus“ — in this unforgettable opera.

Tickets available now as an add-on to Spring 2021 subscription packages

Gregory Kunde: "Without a doubt the greatest and most complete tenor of the 21st century so far" 

Daniel DizOpera World


Guanqun Yu
Gregory Kunde
Raehann Bryce-Davis
Count di Luna
Vladimir Stoyanov
Morris Robinson

Creative Team

James Conlon
Francisco Negrin
Scenery and Costumes
Louis Désiré
Original Lighting Designer
Bruno Poet
Chorus Director
Grant Gershon

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 gypsy. She was hunted down and burned at the stake. The gypsy’s daughter Azucena avenged this killing by kidnapping the boy. Later, a child’s burned body was found on the same spot where the old gypsy 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 Gypsy
In a gypsy 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: The Gypsy's 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 informs him that he just killed his own brother. She cries out: “You are avenged, Mother!”

Production new to Los Angeles

Performed in Italian with English subtitles

A co-production of Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Teatro Real (Madrid) and Royal Danish Opera (Copenhagen)

Running time approx: 2 hours, 45 minutes, with one intermission

Artwork for Il Trovatore
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Fall 2021 Season