Back to index of Justin Holland's "Scraps From The Operas"
Opera: Il Trovatore (The Troubadour)
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Premiere: Rome, 1853.
You need to know that Manrico, the "troubadour", believes the old gypsy Azucena is his mother. In fact, in her panic she had thrown her own son on the pyre her mother was burned on, and then kidnapped the old Count's son and raised him as her own. This makes Manrico and his enemy, the young Count di Luna, brothers.
In Act 4 of 4, Azucena has finally been captured by Count di Luna. So has Manrico. Azucena has visions of her mother being burned at the stake. She's certain the same fate is in store for her. The opening chords of this scrap accompany Azucena's plea to Manrico to wake her if he sees "the horrid glare of the stake." Manrico tells her (0:16) to find some peace in sleep. In the duet (0:37) Ai nostri monti ritorneremo ("Home to our mountains"), Azucena, half asleep, imagines the peaceful life of old they will have when they return to their mountains.
Later, as the quarrel between Manrico and Leonora over the deal she cut with Count di Luna to secure Manrico's freedom reaches a peak, Azucena in her semi-delirious state quietly breaks in with her peaceful Home to our mountains vision again - a goose-bumpy scene if ever there was one.
In case you're curious, di Luna will get nothing from Leonora; she's already near death from the poison she took. Di Luna will order Manrico beheaded. And a moment later Azucena will have the satisfaction of informing di Luna he just killed his brother.
PLAY OPERA SCRAP NO. 16 - "Trovatore"
Next Opera Scrap: No. 17 - "Sonnambula"
Previous Opera Scrap: No. 15 - "Traviata"
Index of all 20 "Scraps From The Operas"
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