Il trovatore

Romantic opera from 1852

Giuseppe Verdi
Salvatore Cammarano


Il trovatore (pronounced [il trovaˈtoːre]; Italian for "The Troubadour") is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto largely written by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El trovador (1836) by Antonio García Gutiérrez. It was Gutiérrez's most successful play, one which Verdi scholar Julian Budden describes as "a high flown, sprawling melodrama flamboyantly defiant of the Aristotelian unities, packed with all manner of fantastic and bizarre incident."

The premiere took place at the Teatro Apollo in Rome on 19 January 1853, where it "began a victorious march throughout the operatic world," a success due to Verdi's work over the previous three years. It began with his January 1850 approach to Cammarano with the idea of Il trovatore. There followed, slowly and with interruptions, the preparation of the libretto, first by Cammarano until his death in mid-1852 and then with the young librettist Leone Emanuele Bardare, which gave the composer the opportunity to propose significant revisions, which were accomplished under his direction. These revisions are seen largely in the expansion of the role of Leonora.

For Verdi, the three years were filled with operatic activity because work on this opera did not proceed while the composer wrote and premiered Rigoletto in Venice in March 1851 and also while his personal affairs limited his activities. Then, in May 1851, an additional commission was offered by the Venice company after Rigoletto's success there. Then another came from Paris while he was visiting that city from late 1851 and into March 1852. Therefore, even before the libretto for Il trovatore was ever completed, before the music was written, and before the opera premiered, Verdi had a total of four different operatic projects underway and in various stages of development.

Today, in its Italian version, Trovatore is given very frequently and is a staple of the standard operatic repertoire.

Year 1852
Opening Night 1853
Time Period Romantic
Instrumentation Opera orchestra, Baritone, Bass, Mezzo-soprano, Soprano, Tenor, Opera chorus


Two Airs from "Il Trovatore"
Edwin Ashdown 1852
Cammarano, et al.
See How The Darkness of Night Dissolves
Novello & Company 1852
Salvatore, et al.
See How the Darkness of Night Dissolves
Novello & Company 1852
Cammarano, et al.
The Anvil Chorus. Part II (The Gipsy)
Novello & Company 1852
Cammarano, et al.
Il Trovatore
G. Ricordi 1852
Cammarano, et al.


Verdi: Il Trovatore
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Il Trovatore
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The Plácido Domingo Story
Deutsche Grammophon
Il Trovatore
Enrico Caruso: Opera Volume 3
Gerhard Husch (1901-1984)
Emilio De Gogorza (1872-1935)
Prima Voce
Leonard Warren (1911-60)
Josef Metternich, Rare and Unreleased Recordings
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Urania / Qualiton Imports, Ltd.
Tenor Arias, Vol. 2
Classic Art
Las Voces del Siglo XX Vol. 3
Famous Opera Choruses
Arts Productions Ltd.
Maria Callas: Vissi D'Arte
Synergie OMP
Vocal: Operatic, Sacred & Chamber
Cavendish Music
Maria Callas: Favourite Arias
Synergie OMP
Favourite Arias - Richard Tauber
Synergie OMP
Placido Domingo Performs Verdi
Vanilla OMP
Love Songs for Valentines Day
Arts Productions Ltd.
Recitals 1927/52
Urania / Qualiton Imports, Ltd.