Lyric Opera and Two Centuries of Verdi
Since IL TROVATORE’S world premiere in1853, Spain (the setting for the opera) and Italy have changed much. Monarchs and dictators have come, wreaked their havoc and gone; battles have been fought, castles taken and retaken in the ongoing human saga that Verdi so aptly dramatized then and which continues to be retold in our time. The latest performance of this riveting opera is well in keeping with the Lyric’s tradition of showcasing Verdi’s work, particularly IL TROVATORE.
As one would expect at the Lyric, the vocal talent of the principles drove this piece once again over the top of the ramparts, as it were. They were supported by the other performers and the chorus, by the costuming and choreography and, in this particular run, the rotating tripartite stage. Artur Ruciński (Count di Luna), Tamara Wilson (Leonora), Russell Thomas (Manrico) and Jamie Barton (Azucena) are at their best in this love triangle/fraternal dual/filial vengeance call. The orchestra, led by Conductor Marco Armiliato, kept the pace and drove the work as the hammers to the anvil in the gypsy camp throughout the evening.
IL TROVATORE Moves Through La Venganza to Love and Back to Vengeance
Seamlessly weaving the audience into the change of place, the movement of the set enabled all to be transported from a barracks to a gypsy camp, to a convent and then to a prison. The motion also took place in characterization. The choice of a multiracial cast, especially for the Brothers di Luna, is quite effective.
The operatic genre may have its detractors, but there are no shadows cast at the Lyric with this season’s IL TROVATORE, in this writer's view. The only darkness is from Verdi’s own mind – his ubiquitous Venganza (revenge) and, as always, its inevitable tragic results.
The players in the supporting roles were:
Tyler Samuel Lee
and the host of actors in the chorus.
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
BRIAN BARBER, JACOB BARNES, JACOB BATES, JON BEAL,
THOMAS BOETTCHER, CHUCK COYL, WESLEY DANIEL,
KEITH DUTTON, DAVID GONZALEZ, MARCKARTHUR JOHNSON,
MATTHEW KUHLMAN, MARK LANCASTER, KURT MERRILL,
JOSHUA MOANEY, MICHAEL SAUBERT, JR., STEPHAN SCALABRINO,
PHILIP SOULIDES, KAI YOUNG
Running Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes with one intermission
20 N. Wacker Drive
November 21-December 9
Wednesday, 11/21 2:00pm
Sunday, 11/25 2:00pm
Friday, 11/30 7:00pm
Monday, 12/3 7:00pm
Thursday, 12/6 7:00pm
Sunday, 12/9 2:00pm
Joseph Anthony Rulli is a transplanted Hoosier, living in Chicago since the fall of 2006. A 1987 graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BA, History) and a 1992 graduate of St. Meinrad School of Theology (MDiv) he taught Social Studies, Religion, Philosophy and History at the high school level. He began writing as a career upon his arrival to his second city and has had two short stories published, a stage play performed, an electronic tour book published online and The Chicago Haymarket Affair (History Press/Arcadia Publishing, 2016) his first print book.