March 06, 2019

IL TROVATORE Brings More Exciting Debuts

Verdi’s Il trovatore demands five great singers, and Lyric’s got them! Two of these artists – Russell Thomas (Manrico) and Jamie Barton (Azucena –  see Q&A) – have scored great successes at Lyric previously, and the other three will all be new faces and voices for our audience.

When Verdi created Leonora, the heroine of Il trovatore, he asked everything of a singer – a gloriously beautiful voice, fabulous technique, elegant style. Tamara Wilson, 2016 winner of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award, has earned acclaim in Mozart (including Elettra in Idomeneo with the CSO at Ravinia), Wagner, Strauss, and above all, Verdi. She’s sung a dozen Verdi roles to date, at such major houses as the Metropolitan Opera (she debuted there as Aida), the Zurich Opera House, the Bavarian State Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Toulouse’s Théâtre du Capitole, and London’s English National Opera. She triumphed as the Empress in Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten in Frankfurt, a portrayal released on CD. 

Verdi’s Count di Luna is a very human villain, and although Leonora prefers to die rather than give herself to him, he does get to sing a rapturously beautiful aria about her! Lyric’s count is the dashing Polish baritone Artur Ruciński, who’s triumphed in the role at the Vienna Festival, the Salzburg Festival, and the Verona Arena. He’s sung star roles since the beginning of his career, and made his international breakthrough in one of them: Tchaikovsky’s Onegin at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Artur makes a specialty of Verdi, but he’s also appeared as Don Giovanni at the Opéra National de Paris and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at the Met. 

Il trovatore begins with a narrative that’s hugely important dramatically and very challenging vocally. It needs a terrifically imposing bass voice that’s wonderfully colorful and flexible. Lyric has just the right man for the job in Roberto Tagliavini, who’s been making news all over Europe for the past decade as one of the most remarkable Italian singers of his generation. Ever since his 2005 debut, he’s starred in all the major houses, including Milan’s La Scala (where his repertoire has included Il trovatore) and the Verona Arena. He’s also been featured with the leading theaters of Vienna, Zurich, Berlin, Paris, and Amsterdam, as well as at the Salzburg Festival. 

With five glorious voices onstage, Il trovatore promises an absolute feast of great singing!

Main photo: Michael Brosilow