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Finally! Verdi’s cherished opera classic, Il trovatore, is back in the repertoire of the Finnish National Opera. It’s been a long wait, as Il Trovatore hasn’t been seen on the National Opera stage since 2003.

Thanks to its thrilling rhythms and catchy melodies, Il trovatore is one of the world’s most popular operas. It’s an ideal choice for the first-time opera visitor, as its medley of fabulous arias will showcase the best of the genre in one spectacular session.

Elena Stikhina
Elena Stikhina sings the role of Leonora.

Verdi composed very little recitative, or so-called “song speech”, for Il trovatore. Instead, the opera is full to bursting with arias and duets by the main characters, complemented by chorus scenes. By the time on extraordinary aria ends, the orchestra is already beginning a new rhythmic accompaniment pattern, which will shortly be joined by another memorable melody.

Il trovatore is a tale of two brothers who have drifted apart and ended up enemies in the midst of a civil war. The tragic story full of surprising twists and turns has four main characters. The enemies, Count Di Luna and Manrico, a troubadour, are both in love with the beautiful Leonora. Only Manrico’s stepmother, the gypsy sorceress Azucena, knows that the two men are in fact brothers. All the roles of the central characters are a challenge for their singers, with the complex melodies demanding a broad vocal, range, excellent technical skills ant powerful emotional interpretation.

While composing Il trovatore, Verdi discovered he wanted to include two strong female roles in his opera. The character of Azucena turned out particularly striking and unusual. Leonora was originally meant to have a supporting role only, but in the course of the composition process, she was given three new arias. One of these is “Tacea la notte placida”, which is often considered one of the master composer’s most beautiful arias ever.

This time the role of Leonora will be sung by Elena Stikhina from Russia, whose exceptionally beautiful voice has brought her growing international renown. Find out more about Elena and the rest of Il trovatore cast at oopperabaletti.fi/en/repertoire/il-trovatore/.