The online opera guide & synopsis to IL TROVATORE
It was Caruso who said, that Il Trovatore is very easy to cast, namely «with the four best voices in the world». Experience the infinite abundance of great musical themes Verdi has composed into this opera.
OVERVIEW & QUICK ACCESS
♪ Act I (Palace-Scene)
♪ Act II (Gipsy-Scene, Convent-Scene)
♪ Act III (Engelsburg Scene)
♪ Special part (Elder recordings)
ROLES & SYNOPSIS OF IL TROVATORE IN 4 MINUTES
Salvatore Cammarano, based on the novel El trovador by Antonio García Gutiérrez.
THE MAIN ROLES
Conte di Luna, nobleman in the service of the Prince of Aragon (baritone) - Leonora, noblewoman in the palace of the Conte di Luna (soprano) - Manrico, supposed son of Azucena, opponent of the Conte (tenor) - Azucena, gypsy (mezzo-soprano)
RCA, Zinka Milanov, Jussi Björling, Fedora Barbieri and Leonard Warren conducted by Renato Cellini and the RCA Victor Orchestra and Robert Shaw Chorale.
Il Trovatore – for the four best voices in the world
Verdi composed his famous trilogy of most popular operas within two years: La Traviata, Il Trovatore und Rigoletto. Each of the four main roles of the Trovatore has become a highlight of their respective Fach. It was Caruso who said, that Il Trovatore is very easy to cast, namely «with the four best voices in the world».
In four blog posts we will discuss in more detail the musical and dramatic demands on the four leading roles of Leonora (in Part 1), Azucena (in Part 2), Manrico (in Part 3) and Conte (in Part 2).
We dedicate the first blog post to the first act, the following blogpost to the second act and the last two acts are covered in the third post.
The fourth post is devoted exclusively to recordings from the first half of the 20th century with outstanding recordings of Caruso, Ponselle and other great singers of the golden era.
The story of the gypsy woman
The opera begins without formal prelude or overture, only arpeggio and horn calls introduce the plot.
Synopsis: The Captain Ferrando tells the story of the gypsy: an old count has two little sons. A gypsy predicts the future for one of these sons. The son falls ill. Out of revenge the gypsy woman orders the her be burned at the stake. The daughter of the gypsy, Azucena, kidnaps the son of the count in revenge.
To create the adequate atmosphere to this haunting narrative, Verdi uses incredibly effective stylistic devices. Through varied repetitions and a narrative song style, he achieves great suspense and draws the listener into the story.
Hear this narration sung bei Nicolai Ghiaurov.
Di due figli vivea padre beato – Ghiaurov
The great aria of Leonora in the first act (Tacea la notte)
Synopsis: Manrico is a troubadour and falls in love with the palace lady Leonora, who lives at the court of the Conte di Luna. Leonora returns the feelings and sings about her love for the mysterious troubadour who has entered her life.
The Trovatore is an opera for Assolutas. Callas, Ponselle and Milanov were famous Leonoras. Callas excelled through dramatic expression and the artistic command, Milanov through the simultaneous power and loveliness of her voice, and the Ponselle for her beautiful and expressive interpretation.
The role of Leonora requires a soprano who is at home in the dramatic fach. The tragic scenes must be sung convincingly (Miserere), high notes and coloraturas must sit (di amor sulle rosee) and finally it requires a great technique in devilishly tricky arias like Tacea la notte. The singer must cover all colors, emotions and vocal ranges in this aria.
This scene consists of two arias. The aria “Tace la notte” begins lyrically and calmly in the nightly gardens of the palace, then allude to Leonora’s feelings of love for the mysterious troubadour and finally ends in ecstatic passages. In the immediately following Caballetta “di tale amor che dirsi” the singer must sing a demanding romantic caballetta with coloratura.
We hear this scene from four sopranos. We begin withLeontyne Price. It is the role with which Price has become a star: After a successful performance in Verona with Franco Corelli as Manrico, she was invited to the Met by Rudolf Bing, then director of the Met. The Trovatore in the 60/61 season meant the Met debut for both Corelli and Price. For Price this ended in an unforgettable triumphal success. The final ovation of the January 1961 performance lasted 40 minutes. One of the longest in the history of the Met.
Tacea la notte placida. Di tale amor (1) – Price
Leonora was also one of the Callas’ glamorous roles. Listen to her in Tacea la notte. The beautiful long bows and the richness of their timbre are impressive.
Tacea la notte placida. Di tale amor (2) – Callas
In the third version we hear Zinka Milanov. Kesting wrote enthusiastically about her Leonora: «The bows of the first aria (Tacea la notte) the extreme Tessitura of the second from the fourth act and the floating Pianissimi in the death scene can hardly be heard more beautifully than from the Yugoslavian».
Tacea la notte placida. Di tale amor (3) – Milanov
You can hear Rosa Ponselle’s version in the fourth blog post of the Trovatore, which we dedicate entirely to historical documents.
Deserto sulla terra
Synopsis: When Manrico secretly visits Leonarda in the palace of the Conte di Luna, Luna observes the meeting of the two. He is filled with bitterness, since he as well has fallen in love with Leonora.
Manrico appears as troubadour and his voice is accompanied only by a lute. At the same time, we hear the Conte’s interjections which creates a great dramatic effect. Manrico’s first appearance must sound attractive because it must awaken the love of Leonora, who is so fascinated by this voice. Indeed, Manrico has to sing rather dramatic passages as leader or avenger in most parts of this opera, this passage however requires lyrical qualities.
In the first interpretation we hear Franco Corelli, for whom Manrico was one of his parade roles. In the upper section you have already read of him as a partner of Price. The joint debut in the Met with this role was a triumph for Leontyne Price. Corelli’s performance somewhat took a back seat and he had even some unfavorable reviews. He, highly frustrated, informed Rudolf Bing, the then director of the Met, that he would never sing with Price again. Fortunately, this outbreak was soon forgotten and within little time he performed again with Leontyne Price.
Deserto sulla terra (1) – Corelli
In contrast, you will hear a second version with Luciano Pavarotti, a lyrical tenor.
Deserto sulla terra (2) – Pavarotti
Di geloso amor sprezzato – il Trovatore’s first major trio
Synopsis: In the dark Leonora holds the Conte for the troubadour Manrico and throws herself into the count’s arms. Manrico who appears is upset and reveals himself to the Conte as his mortal enemy Manrico. So, the two attack each other and the duel begins. Manrico wins but doesn’t kill the Conte and has to flee as a soldier.
This passage illustrates the musical idea of Trovatore aptly. With the so-called Tinta musicale, Verdi has given all his operas a specific coloring. The duel scenes, indeed, everything dark and military in general, and the accompanying violent, martial musical accompaniment belong to the Tinta of this opera.
Listen to this dramatic scene in three recordings.
Let’s start with the recording of Maria Callas. It is simply fantastic how Maria Callas can transport the drama of the situation. The recording was taken from the legendary Mexico time (see also the famous anecdote in the blog post AIDA ).
Di geloso amor sprezzato (1) – Callas/Baum/Warren
The second recording is from the great complete recording with Jussi Björling and Zinka Milanov.
Di geloso amor sprezzato (2) – Milanov/Björling/Warren
In the third recording you hear Placido Domingo. He recorded the Trovatore several times. His recordings from 1970 (with Mehta) and 1978 (Karajan) both belong to the greatest recordings ever. Listen to him in the first recording with Leontyne Price and Sherill Milnes as partners.
Di geloso amor sprezzato (3) – Milnes/Price/Domingo
The specific Tinta musicale of the Trovatore includes the Azucena’s gypsy scenes. In the next part post you will hear the great scene in the gypsy camp and Azucena’s «Stride la vampa».
IL TROVATORE ACT II
In the first blog-contribution to this opera we have discussed the role of Leonora and her outstanding interpreters. In this part of the post, we cover the second act, we will examine the role of Azucena and Conte in more detail.
Il Trovatore’s text – dramatic but somewhat confusing
For a long time Verdi’s opera was critically accompanied by the experts. The reason was mainly the confusing libretto (see also the commentary below in the section on “stride la vampa”).
Ultimately, the plot is based on a proven triangular relationship of the opera. George Bernard Shaw summed it up in the following formula: “Opera is when a tenor and a soprano want to make love and are prevented from doing so by a baritone”. The opera was written at the beginning of the 50s of the 19th century and was partly written parallel to the opera LA TRAVIATA, which is also based on this formula. This simple but incredibly tense constellation has inspired Verdi again and again to achieve musical excellence. In the Trovatore, the role of Azucena adds another level. Besides the Conte, Azucena (the mother-in-law) too is a “fun killer” for the lovers Leonore-Manrico.
In the gypsy camp – Vedi le fosche notturne
Synopsis: In the gypsy camp in the mountains. The anvil chorus is a famous choir piece in which hammer and anvil are used to underline the working milieu of the gypsy camp.
Listen and see this scene from a performance of the Met.
Vedi le fosche – Metropolitan Opera
Stride la vampa – the famous scene of Azucena
Trovatore’s libretto is sometimes complicated and confusing and is therefore often criticized. In the end, Verdi was less concerned with the big plot than with the scenic effect. Verdi “was more interested in the inner drama in the characters themselves, which he musically traced” (Csampai/Holland). Furthermore Verdi pursued the concept of “Varietà”, i.e. the contrasts of successive scenes. This technique is particularly palpable in this opera with the frequent flashbacks which lead to hard cuts in the dramaturgy. This can be traced exemplarily in the scene “Stride la vampa”.
Synopsis: Azucena sits at the campfire and her thoughts glide to the pyre where her mother had to die. Azucena is still obsessed with her goal to avenge her mother.
Azucena is the Trovatore’s pivotal role. Her mood and inner drama are constantly changing, the libretto assigns her tragic and moving scenes: she is both a loving mother and a woman eaten away by vindictiveness. Verdi describes these conditions brilliantly, so the demands on this role are considerable. In “Stride la vampa”, for instance, she must master great Belcanto skills, with ornaments especially in the final part. In recording history there have been many outstanding Azucena’s such as Giulietta Simionato, Fedora Barbieri, Marilyn Horne or Fiorenza Cossotto. In this scene we hear two of them.
From Fiorenza Cossotto we hear a brilliant but rather distanced Azucena.
Stride la vampa – Cossotto
Fedora Barbieri presents us a captivating/dramatic Azucena.
Stride la vampa – Barbieri
Mal reggendo all’aspro assalto
Synopsis: Manrico tells his mother that he could have killed the Conte di Luna in the palace, but that a mysterious force had held him back.
Listen to a thrilling “Reggendo all’aspro assalto” by Fiorenza Cossotto and Placido Domingo.
Mal reggendo all’aspro assalto – Cossotto/ Domingo
Il balen del suo sorriso – for the Verdi baritone
Synopsis: Di Luna and his soldiers intend to abduct Leonora and the Count sings of his love for her
The Balen is written for the classical Verdi baritone. To sing this aria, the baritone must sing high passages into which the beautiful melody leads him. This rather lyrical scene contrasts strongly with the many dramatic passages of the Conte in this opera (e.g. Di geloso amor or Per me ora fatale).
With Leonard Warren we hear an outstanding American baritone of the fifties. Kesting comments on Warrens’ Conte: “Like no other post-war baritone, the sound of the voice contains the sinister and threatening coloration suggested by the obsession of Luna – a dramatically meaningful contrast to the bright, open timbre of Jussi Björling. And like no other Warren glides without the slightest tension through the extremely high tessitura of Il balen. In any case, Warren would be an option for the ideal cast of the work.”
Il balen del suo sorriso – Warren
The terzettos – a great trademark of Verdi’s Il Trovatore
The further we get in the Trovatore, the better we understand why Caruso said “the Trovatore is easy to cast, it just has to be cast by the four best singers in the world”. In addition to the demanding arias, we find gripping terzets scenes. In the first part you heard “Di geloso amor sprezzato” (palace scene). In this part you hear “E deggio posso crederlo” (monastery scene), another of these magical terzettos of the Trovatore.
Synopsis: Di Luna and his soldiers intend to abduct Leonora and the Count sings of his love for her. The Conte has told Leonora that Manrico has died. Leonora then wants to enter the monastery. Manrico hurries to the monastery and prevents Leonora to take the veil just in time. The Conte appears and after a short fight Manrico can bring Lenora safely to his home.
Verdi composed a great Trio to describe the encounter of Leonora, Manrico and Conte in the convent.
Throughout the record’s history, Trovatore recordings have served to unite the best singers of the time. Particularly noteworthy are the recordings with
- Giuseppe di Stefano, Maria Callas, Leonard Warren, Fedora Barbieri
- Jussi Björling, Zinka Milanov, Leonard Warren, Fedora Barbieri
- Franco Corelli, Leontyne Price, Ettore Bastiannini, Giulietta Simionato
- Placido Domingo, Leontyne Price, Sherill Milnes, Fiorenza Cossotto
- Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Ingvar Wixell, Marylin Horne
In this “E deggio posso crederlo” you will hear three recordings from the above selection.
Let’s start with the recording with Placido Domingo, Leontyne Price and Sherril Milnes.
E deggio posso crederlo (1) – Price/Domingo/Milnes
Next up are Jussi Björling, Zinka Milanov and Leonard Warren.
E deggio posso crederlo (2) – Milanov/Björling/Warren
Last you hear, Giuseppe di Stefano, Maria Callas and Leonard Warren.
E deggio posso crederlo (3) – Callas/diStefano/Panerai
A last part of this great act II, a duo with Pavarotti and Maryline Horne:
Perigliarti ancor languente – Horne / Pavarotti
This was the last scene of the second act. We dedicate the third blogpost to the famous scena ed aria of Manrico with the famous “ah si, ben mio” and the even more famous stretta “di quella pira” and much more.
IL TROVATORE ACT III & IV
Il Trovatore: A truly inspired opera
Welcome to the third part of the Trovatore blog post (Here are the links to Part 1 and Part2.). It is simply incredible how many excellent pieces Verdi composed for the opera Trovatore. What is striking is how short and concisely Verdi has kept the recitatives in this opera in favor of dramatic arias and ensemble pieces. In hardly any other opera by Verdi and in the entire history of opera have so many catchy and compelling pieces of music been composed so closely together.
In this section we come to one of the famous showpieces for tenors.
One of Verdi’s Highlight for the tenor: Ah si ben mio
Synopsis: Luna attacks the fortress of Manrico. Manrico defends it as leader. Manrico swears eternal faith to Leonora to the death.
The role of Manrico is very demanding. It is completely different from the other tenor roles of the other two operas of the popular trilogy (Alfredo in Traviata and the Duca in Rigoletto). In the Scena ed aria of Manrico in the third act, the tenor must first sing a lyrical, romantic ah si ben mio followed by a heroic di quella pira with the famous high C at the end.
We start with the Cavatina “Ah si ben mio”. We hear it in different recordings.
First we hear Franco Corelli. Again we hear from Corelli a Cavatina that offers more drama than poetry. Nevertheless one cannot escape the pull of this voice (Kesting speaks of a “macho-magnetism”). Somewhat disturbing is the lisping, which was a negative trademark of Corelli.
Ah si ben mio (1) – Corelli/Karajan
If you want to hear more about Corelli, then I can recommend you the blog post about Andrea Chenier, which was his absolute parade role.
Next is Carlo Bergonzi. He was the antithesis to Corelli. He was a great musician, who approaches this Kavatine more lyrically/thoughtfully, stretches bows and sings out the melodies, but with a smaller voice.
Ah si ben mio (2) – Bergonzi
The third interpretation is by Jussi Björling. Possibly the best Verdi tenor since the Second World War. In Ah si ben mio we can understand why. He possessed both the vocal power and the lyrical elegance and could serve both poles at the same time. Make sure to listen to Björling’s interpretation.
Ah si ben mio (3) – Björling
The fourth and last version is by Placido Domingo. This time from the recording with Giulini.
Ah si ben mio (4) – Domingo
Il Trovatore’s famous high C in the aria di quella pira
Di quella pira is one of the great showpieces of the tenors with a famous high C at the end of the aria.
Synopsis: Manrico has every reason to be in a furor: his mother Azucena has been captured by the Conte di Luna and taken hostage. Luna threatens her with death at the stake. Manrico wants to free Azucena and says goodbye to Leonora.
Let’s start with an outstanding interpretation by Enrico Caruso. Note the famous Caruso sobbing in “madre felice”, with which he “turned the martial tenor fanfare into an expressive piece” (Kesting).
Di quella pira (1) – Caruso
Another gripping recording with Luciano Pavarotti.
Di quella pira (2) – Pavarotti
A third recording with Jussi Björling, who sings the high C with great elegance and ease.
Di quella pira (3) – Björling
Formally the Trovatore was a “step back” into the old Belcanto world of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini. Like so many pieces in Trovatore, “Ah si ben mio” and “Di quella pira” is composed in the strict form of a “scena ed aria” (see explanation in glossary and the example in Nabucco) Formally, this seems to be more an old school piece than a musical drama in which direction Verdi in fact wanted to go. Thus the Trovatore falls behind Rigoletto in the modernity of its structure. Perhaps this opera has become so rich precisely because Verdi felt like a fish in the water in this old form.
D’amor sull’ali rosee – a soprano highlight of Il Trovatore
We come to a great Aria of Leonora.
Synopsis: Manrico is captured and sentenced to death. Lenora visits Manrico in the dungeon and is shocked.
This scene reveals an astonishing coincidence with Beethoven’s Fidelio. Most obvious is the similarity of the names Leonore – Leonora. Moreover: as in Fidelio, the wife tries to free her husband from the dungeon. And the aria D’amor sull’alli rosee has an astonishing resemblance to Fidelio’s “Abscheulicher!… Komm Hoffnung“.
We hear a recording with Maria Callas. She captivates with her unique ability to transport the mood with her timbre. It is remarkable how she sings the many beautiful ornaments wonderfully natural.
D’amor sull’ali rosee (1) – Callas
A second interpretation is by Zinka Milanov.
D’amor sull’ali rosee (2) – Milanov
A third recording with Anna Netrebko with supernatural, wonderfully soft pianissimo passages.
D’amor sull’ali rosee (3) – Netrebko
Miserere – Verdi’s stroke of genius
The scene of the miserere is gripping.
Synopsis: Leonora is anxiously standing in front of the prison from which she wants to rescue Manrico.
From the inside you can hear Manrico’s voice (accompanied by a harp). This passage is accompanied by a solemnly dark chorus and the beat of a bell.
Listen to this famous piece interpreted by Maria Callas.
Miserere – Callas
Leonora takes the poison
Synopsis: The Conte di Luna promises Leonora to release Manrico if Leonora marries him. Leonora agrees, but decides to swallow poison.
Listen to “Mira di acerbe” in a live recording with Maria Callas. Callas live recordings always captivate with their dramatic effect which immediately grips us as listeners.
Mira di acerbe lagrime (1) – Karajan / Callas
Mira d’acerbe is followed by Vivrà contende il giubilo, which you are going to hear in a version with Maria Callas. Again her elegant ornaments are impressive.
Vivrà contende il giubilo – Callas / Panerai
Ai nostri monti – Farewell to the world
Synopsis: Azucena and Manrico are in the dungeon waiting to die. Lost in reverie, they remember their lives and prepare to be executed. Enjoy a nostalgic “Ai nostri monti” with Placido Domingo and Fiorenza Cossotto.
Ai nostri monti – Cossotto / Domingo
The finale – Leonora’s death scene
Synopsis: Manrico believes that Leonora betrayed him with the marriage promise for Conte until he realizes that she took poison to remain faithful to him. In her death scene, she reaffirms her will to die rather than to marry another.
Let’s listen to this scene in two interpretations. We start with Zinka Milanov’s Leonora. Kesting once again: “Especially as Leonora in Il Trovatore and as Aida she is hors concours in many respects, especially with the gently flooded top notes. Only Caballé has sung similarly fine top notes in her best recordings”. This applies to a great extent to the death scene. Pay special attention to the high piano passages in this recording:
Priva d’altri vivere (1) – Milanov
The second version we hear is Maria Callas’. It is beautiful how she creates the final scene. For example the passages in the Priva d’altri vivere where she glides several times effortlessly and breathtakingly into the top notes.
Priva d’altri vivere – Callas / di Stefano
Il Trovatore – a popular opera
Trovatore’s success was immense. The premiere on 19 January 1853 in Rome was already highly acclaimed. After every aria there was applause and the end of the third act and the whole fourth act had to be repeated. The opera was also perceived as new, despite its more traditional formal structure. In the following years the Trovatore could be seen all over Europe and in America. In 1862 Verdi wrote in a letter that the Trovatore could be heard even in Africa and India. Even today, Il Trovatore is still one of the most popular operas, even if it is not easy to cast the opera adequately.
Listen also to the fourth part of Verdi’s fantastic opera Il Trovatore exclusively with voices from the first half of the 20th century.
IL TROVATORE PART 4
The last part – a special edititon for old recordings
Welcome to this part on Trovatore that I wrote for Aficionados. In the blog posts number 1 (act I), number 2 (act II) and number 3 (acts III and IV) you can get to know the most beautiful parts of Verdi’s opera Il Trovatore. This article deals exclusively with recordings of singers of the golden age.
Lilian Nordica with the aria Tacea la notte
The Nordica was one of the great sopranos after the turn of the century and often appeared as a partner of Caruso. A great singer must have been the Englishwoman Lillian Nordica. A beautiful recording of «Tacea la notte» from 1906 confirms this. Despite the poor sound quality, listening is a great pleasure and testifies to the great vocal quality. The Nordica had an eventful life. «The career of the 1857 born was overshadowed by many severe personal disappointments. Her second husband kept her money harmless and her third husband brought her fortune through with bad speculations. Shortly before she wanted to marry for the fourth time, her ship stranded on the coast of Java on the way back from Australia. She was rescued, but soon died in a hospital in Batavia» (Kesting). Read here the full Anecdote.
Tacea la notte – Nordica
Rosa Ponselle’s Trovatore
Rosa Ponselle was one of the outstanding sopranos of the golden age. Kush called her “the real prima donna of the Metropolitan Opera at which she celebrated unimaginable triumphs”. Before each performance she suffered from a great nervous tension. Fischer: “Long walks through the streets had to be completed each time before the magic door to the opera house could be crossed, and she also had a fresh air neurosis: the windows of her wardrobe and also the doors behind the stage had to be opened wide for her two hours before the performance, summer and winter, other colleagues were not enthusiastic about it, and De Luca even threatened with the lawyer if he should catch a cold from it”. Let’s get back to the opera Trovatore: “You have to go back to Ponselle to find the old truth confirmed that interpretation can only begin after the technical mastery of the music. She masters the music, and this technical surplus is transformed into expression. In the cabaletta after Tacea la notte she sings an incredible piano des.” (Kesting) Listen to this recording of Tacea la notte with Rosa Ponselle.
Tace la notte…di tale amor – Ponselle
Beautiful “Mira d’acerbe”
The Duo Amato/Gadski in “Mira d’acerbe” is of the highest quality and blazes like fire (Kesting). Pasquale Amato came from Naples and was a baritone with a great ability to nuance. We hear the Mira d’acerbe “with an almost aggressive intensity” (Fischer). At the Met he often sang together with Johanna Gadski, a German soprano. There is a wonderful anecdote about her that I tell in the blog of the opera Aida.
Mira di acerbe lagrime (1) – Gadski/Amato
A second version is sung by Rosa Ponselle and Riccardo Stracciari, which is worth hearing for Ponselles “sublime thrills” (Kesting).
Mira di acerbe lagrime (2) – Ponselle/Stracciari
Heinrich Knote – vocal power from Germany
“When the Munich tenor Heinrich Knote sang Manrico at the Met, he was said to have frightened even Caruso with the power of his phenomenally extensive voice. His voice reached effortlessly up to D”, (Kesting). Listen to Knote in a German sung recording of “Ah si ben mio”.
Ah si ben mio – Knote
Also worth hearing is the same piece in an interpretation of Giovanni Martinelli’s powerful voice and still musically excellent.
Ah si ben mio – Martinelli
In my opinion, the combination of the famous 1906 recording of “di quella pira” by Enrico Caruso, to which a modern orchestra has been deposited, is a wonderful listening pleasure.
Miserere – Verdi’s great theatre effect
You will hear a moving Miserere (sung in German) from Meta Seinemeyer, who died of leukaemia at the age of 34. She married her piano accompanist on her deathbed. The famous conductor Fritz Busch attested her “an unforgettable soulful singing which one likes to call the “tear of the voice” (Fischer).
Miserere – Seinemeyer
The Trovatore finale with Rethberg and Martinelli is of unsurpassable drama. Listen to the last 10-15 minutes of this 1 hour recording.
Finale – Rethberg/Martinelli
recording recommendation of Verdi’s Trovatore
EMI with Maria Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano and Rolando Panerai under the direction of Herbert von Karajan and the choir and orchestra of la Scala di Milano.
Peter Lutz, opera-inside, the online opera guide to IL TROVATORE