On Monday, August 18, at 1:45 P.M., Opera@theLibrary will present Giuseppe Verdi's powerful opera of revenge and betrayal Il Trovatore, The Troubadour, at the Cooper Memorial Library, in room 108 B. Il trovatore is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto largely written by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El trovador (1836) by Antonio García Gutiérrez.
The premiere took place at the Teatro Apollo in Rome on 19 January 1853, where it began a victorious march throughout the operatic world, a success due to Verdi's work over the previous three years. It began with his January 1850 approach to Cammarano with the idea of Il trovatore. There followed, slowly and with interruptions, the preparation of the libretto, first by Cammarano until his death in mid-1852, and then with the young librettist Leone Emanuele Bardare, which gave the composer the opportunity to propose significant revisions, which were accomplished under his direction. These revisions are seen largely in the expansion of the role of Leonora. For Verdi, the three years were filled with operatic activity because work on this opera did not proceed while the composer wrote and premiered Rigoletto in Venice in March 1851, and also while his personal affairs limited his activities. Then, in May 1851, an additional commission was offered by the Venice company after Rigoletto's success there. Then, another came from Paris while he was visiting that city from late 1851 and into March 1852. Therefore, even before the libretto for Il trovatore was ever completed, before the music was written, and before the opera premiered, Verdi had a total of four different operatic projects underway and in various stages of development. Today, in its Italian version, trovatore is given very frequently, and is a staple of the standard operatic repertoire.
The opera's immense popularity – albeit a popular successes rather than critical one – came from some 229 productions worldwide in the three years following its premiere on 19 January 1853, and is illustrated by the fact that in Naples, for example, where the opera in its first three years had eleven stagings in six theaters, the performances totaled 190. Il trovatore was first performed in the US on 2 May 1855 at the then-recently opened Academy of Music in New York, while its UK premiere took place on 10 May 1855 at Covent Garden in London. As the 20th Century proceeded, there was a decline in interest, but Il trovatore saw a revival of interest after Toscanini's 1902 revivals. From its performance at the Met on 26 October 1883 up until 2010, the company has given it 615 performances. Today, almost all performances use the Italian version, and its popularity is illustrated by appearing at number 20 (with 190 performances) on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide from the 2008/09 season to the end of the 2012/2013 season.
Our operas are introduced by Lake-Sumter State College adjunct professor Norma Trivelli, who will offer a background into the author’s motivation for composing this opus. All operas have English translations for your understanding and they are free to the public. We hope to enhance your knowledge and appreciation of this beautiful art form. Light refreshments will be provided at intermission for our guests by our Friends of the Opera.
For more information about Opera@theLibrary programs, please visit our web presence at https://sites.google.com/site/operaatthelibrary/or contact Dennis Smolarek at (352) 536-2275 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.