<< -- 3 -- Robert Anderson HOTHOUSE PASSIONS
By the time that Manrico has saved Leonora from becoming a nun in what is
visually the most striking set of the performance, with decorative railings
separating sacred and profane, while a superincumbent cross gives the sisters
all the spiritual backing they need, he and the Count are engaged in opposing
warfare. Verdi endows the Count's soldiery with outstanding musical valour
[listen -- DVD2 Act III, 'Sqilli, echeggi la tromba']. The result
is capture of Azucena, and the worsting of Manrico in his attempt to rescue her.
Decorative railings separate sacred from profane in Karajan's 'Il Trovatore'. © ORF/TDK
Misfortune incites Azucena to yet more manic flights of wrath, so that she becomes
an incandescent Fury of destruction
[listen -- DVD2 Act III, 'Giorni poveri vivea -- Tua prole, o turpe zingara'].
If Verdi's greatest tragic opera was the Manzoni Requiem, he is never happier
in the stage works than when conjuring up some aspect of ecclesiastical life. A
tolling bell, chanting monk or kneeling nun had an irresistible appeal to this
distinguished apostate of the Roman church. Manrico is now a prisoner in a tower
of the Count's palace, and some convenient monks have assembled to crave mercy on
the souls of those about to die.
Copyright © 21 November 2004
Robert Anderson, London UK