Opera San Jose is ending its 2012-2013 season with an outstanding double bill featuring Italian operas Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi are parts one and three of Il trittico (The Triptych)–three one-act operas with contrasting themes.
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A story of a curse, love, and revenge–Giuseppe Verdi’s Il trovatore is a staple in the world of opera for obvious reasons. First performed in Rome in 1853, Il trovatore is set in Zaragoza, Spain. Count di Luna is in love with Leonora, the lady-in-waiting to the Princess. However, Leonora is in love with the troubadour Manrico, the Count’s rival.
The audience learns that long ago, a gypsy accused of bewitching the youngest of the two di Luna sons, faces the wrath of the Count. The gypsy was killed, and in her final moments pleads with her daughter Azucena to avenge her death. The son soon goes missing, and when the bones of a young child are found, the Count cannot accept the death of his boy. He orders the eldest, the new Count di Luna, to find Azucena and his brother, believing the boy is still alive. The series of events that unfold test the limits of love, and the lengths one will go to for revenge.
Sung in Italian, Il trovatore is divided into four acts. Regularly performed worldwide, the opera is well-known for its famous choral melody “Anvil Chorus.” The cast sang beautifully and harmoniously, effortlessly capturing the mood and meaning behind the poetic lyrics of the song. Nicole Birkland, cast to play Azucena, gave an exceptional performance, from her acting, to her singing, to her presence on the stage–she was meant to play this role.
Il trovatore is a wonderful continuation of the 2012-2013 season at Opera San Jose. Il trovatore runs from now until February 24th at the California Theatre, 345 South First Street in downtown San Jose. Tickets are on sale at the Opera San Jose box office, by phone at (408) 437-4450, or online at www.operasj.org.
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