Opera Synopsis Slider

The plot is largely based on the 1836 play El Trovador by Spanish writer Antonio García Gutiérrez. In 1850, Giuseppe Verdi proposed this idea to librettist Salvadore Cammarano, who started slowly with interruptions until his death in mid-1852. Then, he pursued the work with Leone Emanuele Bardare, a young Italian poet, who allowed the composer to propose significant changes, notably in the role of Leonora. The end result is a libretto – a masterpiece in its own merits – which tells the fiery tale over four acts.

THE ROLES
Given the complex nature of the plot, before going through the synopsis, it could be wiser to get acquainted with the relationships between the main roles.
 
Azucena: a gypsy. Her mother was accused of bewitching the young baby of Di Luna, and so she was burnt at the stake. While watching this horrific scene, Azucena stole the baby in question, and people thought she threw him in the pyre. But only she knew that she made a mistake by burning her own son, and keeping for herself the actual Di Luna baby, whom in the opera appears as Manrico.
 
Count di Luna is the brother of the baby whom people believe was first bewitched by the old gypsy and then thrown in the flames by her daughter. Like everyone else, he is not aware that his real brother is actually alive, and he certainly does not know that his brother is Manrico. Count di Luna is in love with Leonora.
 
Leonora is a noble lady, in love with the troubadour Manrico, and not with Count di Luna. She does not know the real identity of Manrico.
 
Manrico, hence, first believes he is Azucena’s son, but when she confesses the true story, he remains loyal to her. Actually, he is Count di Luna’s brother, but he does not tell him as they are enemies on two counts; in politics and in love.

Synopsis Azucena





Synopsis Di Luna




Synopsis Leonora




Synopsis Leonora

ACT I - THE DUEL

14th century Spain is torn apart by Civil War. The commander of the Royalist Aragon troops, Count di Luna is obsessed with Leonora, a young noblewoman in the Queen’s service, who does not return his love. Outside the royal residence his soldiers keep watch at night. An unknown troubadour (Manrico) has been heard serenading Leonora and the jealous Count is determined to capture and punish him. To keep his troops awake, Ferrando, the captain, recounts the terrible story of a gypsy woman burned at the stake, years before, for bewitching Count di Luna’s infant brother. The gypsy’s daughter, Azucena, took revenge by kidnapping the boy to throw him in the flames after her mother. A charred skeleton of the baby was actually found but the gypsy’s daughter vanished while Di Luna’s father died of grief. Ever hopeful that it was not his brother who was burnt, Count di Luna had sworn to find the gypsy.

In the palace gardens, Leonora confesses to Ines, her confidante, that she is in love with a mysterious man (Manrico) she met before the outbreak of war. He now returns every night to serenade her. After they go indoors, Count di Luna appears in the garden, driven nearly insane with desire for Leonora. As the troubadour starts his singing again and Leonora rushes out to greet him, Count di Luna seizes her. The troubadour reveals his true identity – Manrico, leader of the partisan rebel forces. Furious, Count di Luna challenges his to fight to death.


Trovatore Synopsis Act 1

ACT II - THE GYPSY

The duel has been fought, with Manrico emerging victorious. But strangely, something kept him from killing Count di Luna. The war raged on with the Royalists winning in the last battle. Manrico has been badly wounded but his (supposedly) mother, the gypsy Azucena dragged him to the mountains and nursed him back to health. Scarred by the memory of her past, Azucena confesses to Manrico that years before, she stole the Di Luna baby to avenge the death of her mother, but in panic, threw her own son in the pyre. Manrico discovers who he really was but remains loyal to the one who raised him as her own son. In the meantime, a messenger brings the news that on believing that Manrico had fallen in war, Leonora was entering a convent to escape the grasp of Count di Luna. Manrico leaves immediately, while Azucena first pleads with him to stay and then sets on a journey of her own.

Count di Luna plans to storm the walls of the convent with his troops and take Leonora by force. As she prepares to take the vows, Di Luna tries to seize her but is stopped by Manrico and his men. Confusion ensues and the two lovers escape.

Trovatore Synopsis Act 2

ACT III - THE GYPSY'S SON
Count di Luna and his men are attacking the fortress where Manrico has taken refuge with Leonora. Ferrando drags in Azucena who has been captured wandering near the camp. When she hears the name of Count di Luna, she arouses suspicions with her reaction and is recognized as the murderer of count’s brother. Azucena cries out to her son Manrico to rescue her, giving the Count, the proper means to flush his enemy out of the fortress. He orders his men to build a pyre and burn Azucena before the walls.

Inside the fortress, Manrico and Leonora are preparing to get married. She is frightened; the battle is imminent and Manrico’s forces are outnumbered. He assures her of his love, even in the face of death. When news of his mother’s capture reaches him, Manrico summons his men and desperately prepares to attack.

Trovatore Synopsis Act 3

ACT IV - THE EXECUTION

Manrico’s army has been defeated and he and Azucena are being held captives in Di Luna’s castle. Leonora has escaped with Ruiz, Manrico’s lieutenant, and comes to the prison. She knows he is condemned to death and prays for his salvation. Manrico’s voice is heard from inside the castle. When Count di Luna order Manrico’s and his mother’s execution at sunrise, Leonora offers herself to the count in return for her lover’s life, but secretly takes a slow poison to cheat Count di Luna of his prize.

Inside the prison, Manrico tries to comfort Azucena, who is terrified by the visions of the stake and the fire that await her. He lulls her with memories of their former freedom and happiness and she slumbers. Leonora rushes to tell Manrico that he is saved, urging him to escape. He understands what she has done and furiously denounces her, refusing the Count’s mercy. But the poison is already taking effect and Leonora dies in his arms. Count di Luna enters the prison cell in time to witness her death. He sends Manrico to his execution, while Azucena awakes and exclaims that her mother is avenged, because Manrico, that has been murdered, was actually Count di Luna’s own brother.

Trovatore Event

Trovatore Synopsis Act 4

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