Il Trovatore

The approximate runtime is 2.45 Hours.

Valet parking is available for $5 at Skip Viragh.


Photos from Il Trovatore

By Riq Dilly




Jorge Pita Carreras, Manrico

Hailed as one of the leading exponents of the bel canto and lyric styles among today’s singers, Jorge Pita Carreras has performed the lyric tenor repertoire to great praise in opera houses throughout the world. At age 22, Mr. Pita became the youngest tenor to debut at the Vienna Staatsoper, singing Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. Following this successful debut, he appeared in leading tenor roles in Macbeth, La Traviata, Falstaff, Rigoletto, Lucia di Lammermoor, and as the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier. In 2001 Mr. Pita was invited to sing the Verdi Requiem commemorating the 100th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s death at the London’s Barbican Hall with Maestro Antonio Pappano, Renée Fleming, Violeta Umana, René Pape and the London Philharmonic for the BBC. Mr. Pita began his vocal studies under the guidance of Placido Domingo and Joan Owen, then furthered his studies at Indiana University. Mr. Pita has won the Boca Raton International Competition, the Pavarotti Competition, the Rosa Ponselle Competition, and the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition.  Future engagements in 2015, include Il Duca in Rigoletto, Alfredo in La Traviata with the Miami Lyric Opera and a series of gala concerts throughout  the  United  States and South America.


Claudia Chapa, Azucena

Mexican mezzo-soprano Claudia Chapa recently perform the role of Flora (The Medium) at Opera in the Heights, where she has been seen as The Witch (Hansel und Gretel) and Dame Quickly (Falstaff). She also return to DCINY as the mezzo soloist in Beecham/Goosens’ re-orchestration of Handel’s Messiah. This past summer she returned to The Glimmerglass Festival as a Young Artist to perform the role of Third Lady (The Magic Flute) and to cover The Old Lady (Candide). Earlier this season Ms. Chapa made her Carnegie Hall debut as the mezzo soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with Distinguished Concert International New York (DCINY) after performing the Requiem with Gulf Coast Symphony. Ms. Chapa has appeared with Winter Opera St. Louis as Dame Quickly and as Alisa (Lucia di Lammermoor). In 2014 she joined the Young Artist Program at The Glimmerglass Festival, covering the role of Dryade (Ariadne auf Naxos). She performed the role of Azucena in Opera in Williamsburg’s production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore and has covered the role of Gertrude (Roméo et Juliette) as a member of the Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Program. She has sung with Portland Opera’s educational tour of The Magic Flute and received the prestigious Silverman Award after performing the role of Madame de Croissy in Dialogues des carmélites with the International Vocal Art Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel.  Ms. Chapa made her professional debut as Dritte Dame (Die Zauberflöte) with Austin Lyric Opera and subsequently sang Aunt Cecilia in Little Women with Opera Fayetteville and Marthe (Faust) with Indianapolis Opera.  Ms. Chapa received her training at the Butler School of Music at University of Texas-Austin, where she performed the role of Beatriz in the world premiere of the new orchestration of La Hija de Rappaccini with late composer Daniel Catan. There she also sang Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica, the title role in Rodriguez’s La Curandera, Gertrude in Hansel and Gretel, and Mrs. Herring in Albert Herring.

hodgeAntoine Hodge, Ferrando

Antoine Hodge is quickly gaining wide spread attention across the country for his versatility and commanding stage presence. The 2014-2015 season saw him in a variety of performances, including his debut with New York Opera Exchange as Raimondo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor , a company debut with Utah Festival Opera as Colline in La bohème, a return to Central City Opera as King Balthazar in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors and Bass Soloist with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic in Gerald Finzi’s In terra pax. Previous performances for Antoine include Colline in Puccini’s La Bohème with Loveland Opera Theatre, Don Magnifico in Rossini’s La Cenerentola with Boulder Opera Company, Magi in David Conte’s Gift of the Magi and King Balthazar in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night. Visitors with Opera Fort Collins, as well as a host of symphony debuts with the Greeley Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, and Fort Collins Symphony, Sam in Un ballo in Maschera and Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Regina Opera.

mariaMaria Kanyova, Leonora

 Critics have hailed Maria Kanyova as an extraordinary singing actress.  Robert Trussell of the Kansas City star wrote of her portrayal of Pat Nixon, “Her voice could stop time.”  Throughout Ms Kanyova’s busy performing career of leading roles, she has performed with Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Boston Lyric Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Chicago Opera TheaterSan Diego Opera, Opera Pacific, Portland Opera, New Orleans Opera,Palm Beach Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Saint Louis Opera Theatre, Central City Opera, Opera Colorado, Madison Opera, Tulsa Opera, Wexford Opera Festival and Canadian Opera Company along with many other prestigious opera companies.  One of signature leading role portrayels Pat Nixon in Nixon in China has been recorded on the Naxos Label.  Ms. Kanyova has enjoyed the opportunity of premiering new operas and reviving more recent operas.  She recently performed the role of Blanchein Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire with Kentucky Opera and premiered the role of Miriam in Adamo’s Gospel of Mary Magdalene with San Francisco Opera.   Ms.Kanyova has also revived the role of Marie Antoinette in John Corigliano’s The Ghost’s of Versaille both with Saint Louis Opera Theatre and the Wexford Opera Festival in Ireland.  Other recent engagements include Violetta in La traviata witImperial Symphony Orchestra, Pat Nixon  in Nixon in China with San Diego Opera and the roles of Suor Angelica and Lauretta in the operas Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi  Future engagements include the title role of Madama Butterfly with Opera San Antonio and  the title role of Suor Angelica with Opera San Jose.  *Maria Kanyova’s appearance with Winter Opera is sponsored by John Bradbury.


Neil Nelson, Count di Luna

Born in Kingston, Jamaica bass baritone Neil Nelson moved to the United States with his family at the age of 2, settling Queens, New York.  It has been said by colleagues and critics alike, that Mr. Nelson possesses one of the purest and most resonant bass baritone voice of recent times. An excellent musician and linguist, Mr. Nelson graduated from The New England Conservatory of Music with a degree in music performance. Winning awards such as the Stephen Shrestinian Award for Excellence (Boston Lyric Opera), the Heinz Refuss Singing Actors Award (Orlando Opera), and appearing as a finalist in the New York Metropolitan Opera Auditions launched him into his professional career.  Mr. Nelson has performed roles with Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Berkshire Opera, Orlando Opera, The New York Harlem Opera Theater and the Tartar State Opera Theater in Kazan, Russia. Neil has a passion for oratorio and concert stage and has appeared as a soloist with ensembles such as the Lynn Conservatory Orchestra, the Ocean City Pops, the Southwest Florida Symphony, and the New England Conservatory Orchestra. Future engagements include Schaunard in La Boheme with Opera Naples and Jake in Porgy and Bess with the Tatar State Opera Theater in the Chaliapin Music Festival in Kazan, Russia. Mr. Nelson resides in South Florida with his wife and 4-year-old daughter. When he is not singing, Neil can be found having fun with his family, or working in his community as a mentor .

Sharon.sullivan headshotSharon Sullivan, Ines

Sharon Sullivan is a soprano from Knoxville, Tennessee, and is currently a resident artist with Winter Opera St. Louis. During Winter Opera’s 2014-2015 season Mrs. Sullivan was featured as The Good Wife in Conrad Susa’s The Wise Women and Caterina in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz. In 2013, Mrs. Sullivan received her Master of Music from West Virginia University where she performed several roles including The Security officer in Milton Grainger’s The Proposal, and  Micaëla in George Bizet’s Carmen.  Mrs. Sullivan received her Bachelor of Music in performance from Maryville College and was a member of the Knoxville Opera Chorus from 2008-2011. This summer she will be working with Union Avenue Opera for their production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and cannot wait to join Winter Opera for another exciting season.

clarkClark Sturdevant, Ruiz

Clark Sturdevant,  tenor, is returning for his fourth season at Winter Opera St. Louis. Clark has performed roles for Dayton Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Seabrook, Capital Heights Opera, Union Avenue Opera, Katydid Productions, Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Opera Project, The Ohio Light Opera, Opera for the Young, and Natchez Festival of Music. His previous work consists of more than thirty roles including Tamino (The Magic Flute), Count Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Le comte Ory (Le comte Ory), Nanki-Poo (The Mikado), and Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni).  He will be performing the role of Col. Fairfax which he recently debuted with The Ohio Light Opera production of The Yeomen of the Guard as well as returning to the role of Ruiz in Il Trovatore. 


darwinaDarwin Aquino, Conductor

A musical product of “el Sistema,” Darwin Aquino has been hailed as one of the rising stars in orchestral conducting from Latin America.  Upcoming engagements for the 2015-2016 season includes guest conductor with the Mainz Philharmonic Orchestra in Germany, the Heredia Symphony Orchestra in Costa Rica, the Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra and the Winter Opera in St. Louis. Aquino has been selected as Assistant and Cover Conductor for the Florida Grand Opera in Miami (“Barber of Seville”, “Norma”, “Don Pasquale”) and the Palm Beach Symphony Orchestra.  In 2004 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic. His career has led him to conduct the Philharmonisches Orchester Mainz in Germany, Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Alfredo de Saint Malo Festival Orchestra in Panama, FIU Symphony Orchestra, Opera Naples (Assistant Conductor for Puccini’s “La Boheme”), National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, Orquesta Filarmónica Boca del Rio in Mexico, FIU Opera Theater and Sembrando Talentos Festival Orchestra in Uruguay.  The Latin American Collegium of Composers selected Aquino as their youngest member for his outstanding achievements in composition.  For the last several years Aquino’s music have been premiered by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, the Santo Domingo Music Festival Orchestra, the Dominican National Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Filarmonica Boca del Rio in Mexico and the Musica Sacra Philharmonic.

MarkFreiman2015Mark Freiman, Director

Mark Freiman directed and sang in Winter Opera’s La Bohème, Tosca, and Otello, and last season he debuted as both director and singer with Muddy River Opera (Quincy, Illinois) and Nickel City Opera (Buffalo, NY). A recipient of the prestigious Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation, his credits include the opera companies of Virginia, Kansas City, Ft. Worth, Nashville, Sarasota, Mobile (Alabama), Central City (Colorado), Saskatchewan, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and two national tours with NY City Opera. He is featured as William Jennings Bryan on the Sony Newport Classics CD of The Ballad of Baby Doe, and spent a year in Hamburg in the German-language production of The Phantom of the Opera. He has appeared in concert as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony, National Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orquesta Filarmonica de Lima (Peru), and at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. Mr. Freiman was a child soloist for three seasons with the Metropolitan Opera and sang a solo in their very first live telecast, La Bohème starring Luciano Pavarotti. He trained at New York City’s venerable Amato Opera. This summer he portrays President McKinley’s bodyguard in the world premiere of Shot! in Buffalo, NY.


Il Trovatore premiered at the Teatro Apollo in Rome on January 19th,  1853.




Act I : Spain is torn apart by Civil War. The commander of the Royalist Aragon troops, Count di Luna, is obsessed with Leonora, a young noblewoman in the queen’s service who does not return his love. Outside the royal residence his soldiers keep watch at night. An unknown troubadour has been heard serenading Leonora, and the jealous Count is determined to capture and punish him. To keep  his troops awake, the captain, Ferrando, recounts the terrible story of a gypsy woman who was burned at the stake years ago, accused of  bewitching the Count’s  infant brother. The gypsy’s daughter then took revenge by kidnapping the boy and—so the story goes—throwing him into the flames where her mother had died. The charred skeleton of a baby was discovered there and Di Luna’s father died of  grief soon after. No trace was ever found of the gypsy daughter, but Di Luna has sworn to find her. As the midnight bells toll, Ferrando and the soldiers curse the escaped gypsy. In the palace gardens, Leonora confesses to her companion Ines that she is in love with a mysterious man she met before the outbreak of war. It is he who now returns as the troubadour to serenade her each night. After they have gone indoors, Count di Luna appears in the garden, driven nearly insane with his desire for Leonora. As he approaches her door, the troubadour’s song is heard in the darkness. Leonora rushes out to greet him but is seized instead by Di Luna. The troubadour appears and reveals his true identity: he is Manrico, leader of the partisan rebel forces. Furious, the Count challenges him to fight to the death. Manrico overpowers the Count, but a mysterious power holds back his sword and spares Di Luna’s life.




Act II : At a camp in the mountains of Biscay, gypsies sing the Anvil Chorus. Manrico is being nursed back to health after wounds suffered in battle by his mother, Azucena—the gypsy daughter of Ferrando’s tale. Her life is scarred by the memory of her mother’s death and the terrible revenge she exacted. Manrico is determined to hear the whole truth and once the camp has moved on, she begins to tell him a horrific story. She stole the Count’s infant son, intending to throw him into the flames, but by mistake she threw her own son instead. When Manrico demands to know who he truly is, Azucena is evasive; all that matters is the maternal love she has shown him, and that he does not fail in his oath to take revenge on the house of Di Luna. A messenger arrives with news of Leonora. Believing Manrico has died in battle, and to escape the grasp of Di Luna, she is entering a convent. Azucena pleads with Manrico to stay, but he resolves to go to her immediately. Azucena sets off on a journey of her own. Di Luna plans to storm the walls of the convent with his troops and take Leonora by force. As Leonora prepares to take her vows, he tries to seize her, but is prevented by the attack of Manrico and his men. Leonora, thrilled that Manrico is alive, escapes with him.




Act III : Di Luna and his army are attacking the fortress where Manrico has taken refuge with Leonora. Ferrando drags in Azucena, who has been captured wandering near the camp. When she hears Di Luna’s name, Azucena’s reactions arouse suspicion and Ferrando recognizes her as the mysterious woman who had murdered the Count’s brother many years before. Azucena cries out to her son Manrico  to rescue her, and the Count realizes that he has the means to flush his enemy out of the fortress. He orders his men to build a pyre and burn Azucena  before the walls.  Inside the castle, Manrico and Leonora are preparing to be married. She is frightened; the battle with Di Luna is imminent and Manrico’s forces are outnumbered. He assures her of his love, even in the face of death. When news of Azucena’s capture reaches him, he summons his men and desperately prepares to attack.


Act IV : Manrico’s army has been defeated and he and Azucena are being held captive in Di Luna’s  castle. Leonora has escaped with Ruiz, Manrico’s lieutenant, and comes to the prison to save her lover.  When Di Luna appears and orders the execution of both Manrico and Azucena at sunrise, Leonora reveals herself and offers herself in return for her lover’s life. But secretly, she takes a slow poison from her ring so that she will not fall into Di Luna’s hands. Inside the prison, Manrico tries to comfort Azucena, who is terrified by visions of the stake and the fire that awaits her. He lulls her with memories of their former freedom and happiness. Leonora rushes in to tell Manrico that he is saved, urging him to escape. Suspecting the price of his freedom, he curses her in a jealous rage. But as the poison begins to take effect, he realizes what she has done. Just as Leonora dies, the Count rushes in and sees that he has been tricked. He sends Manrico to his execution. Azucena triumphantly cries out to him that her mother is avenged: Di Luna has killed his own brother.