Through spirited, knowledgeable narration and musical examples this series aims to familiarise the listener with major operas. Using principal themes and arias to tell the story, the recording makes for both an inspirational starting-point before a visit to the opera-house, and an entertaining revision afterwards. It is also ideal as a precursor to the complete work recorded by Naxos.
An Introduction to...VERDI: Il trovatore
Written by Thomson Smillie
Narrated by David Timson
Il trovatore has been ruthlessly parodied. It is a tale of murder and mayhem, burned babies, roasted hags, would-be nuns, strolling minstrels and bad baritones. And indeed the libretto does call for a willing suspension of disbelief. The reward is in the music, a score as prodigally melodic as only the mature Verdi could write: the 'Anvil' Chorus, the 'Miserere' scene, two great tenor arias, a beautiful baritone aria - a richness without embarrassment.