4-13 May 2006. Conducted by Renato Palumbo, directed by Elijah Moshinsky, with Marianne Cornetti, Roberto Frontali and Annalisa Raspagliosi.
Spring heralds the beginning of the festival season, which continues through the summer for opera fans. Starting off is a festival dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi in Parma which will present Il Trovatore as its inaugural performance (4-13 May). It is a masterpiece known and loved for its intricate and involving story, for the beautiful arias which have entered into the collective imagination, and above all because it is a homage to the perfect romantic tenor, who must be heroic, passionate and sparkle on the high notes especially on the famous do of the cabaletta Di quella pira. Verdi did not write this high note, which was instead added by some tenors (according to the tastes of the period maybe a little too boldly) to render even more enthusiastically one of the most incandescent and overwhelming pages in the history of opera. To exclude it, as conductor Riccardo Muti did at the Scala during the Verdi centenary, may make the philologists and the critics happy, but it will always disappoint the public, who want to hear and enjoy it as well as judge the singers skill. In this performance Marcelo Alvarez, the tenor who will take the role of Manrico at the Teatro Regio di Parma, will ensure that all the high notes tradition demands will be sung while also respecting Verdis intentions. Alongside him will be two expert singers of Verdi: Marianne Cornetti (Azucena) and Roberto Frontali (Il Conte di Luna). Leonora will be sung by Annalisa Raspagliosi a soprano who is taking her first steps in Italian opera. Paolo di Nicola