San Francisco’s acclaimed opera opened its season Friday, September 11, in a big way. Giuseppe Verdi’s II Trovatore was the first performance of Nicola Luisoiti as musical director. Luisoiti was hired on with the purpose of restoring the prestige to the famed Italian operas, something he did with great ease on Friday.
II Trovatore was first performed in the U.S. in 1855 at the Academy of Music in New York. Since then, many interpretations and renditions have been done but on Friday, the piece was done with the utmost class and authenticity by Verdi.
If not totally familiar, the plot goes something like this: Count DiLuna orders a gypsy woman to be burned at the stake for allegedly casting a spell on his son. The gypsy’s daughter, Azucena, is said to have kidnapped the son in revenge and burned him as well. The problem is that in a mix of confusion, she accidently put her own kid in the crucible. Sound confusing? Well, it sort of is. But regardless of confusion or any hints of bewilderment, it’s almost impossible not to take a liking to, and become fully mesmerized by, the genius musical director that is Luisoiti and the rest of the cast.
Sondra Radvanovsky debuted her rich, burgundy soprano voice alongside Marco Berti, a bright tenor, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the baritone who previously opened the season in Simon Boccanegra.
The supporting cast is just as impressive with arias by Burak Bilgili, Adler Fellow, and Andrew Bidlack.
San Francisco has always been notorious for the talent that immerses its art scene but if the recent opening night is any indication of what the season has in store for San Francisco audiences and beyond, it’s sure to be praised even more and leave audiences swooning for sure.