Both Manrico and Azucena are prisoners in Count Luna's castle. Leonora arrives outside the fence, determined to save Manrico's life even at the cost of her own.
In desperation, she tell Luna she will marry him if he sets Manrico free. He agrees, but Leonora secretly takes poison so she won't have to consummate the marriage.
Next: Azucena’s revenge
The poison takes hold too quickly. Leonora dies too soon. Luna realizes he has been betrayed and executes Manrico.
This is Azucena's moment. Egli era tuo fratello she tells him. He was your own brother.
Next: Fire at the end of the opera
The storyline of this opera has often been criticized as turgid and illogical, ever since Verdi first composed it in 1853. But I really like what the stage director Robert Carsen has to say about it in the Bregenz program book:
"It seems to me totally mistaken to consider the libretto of Il trovatore as bad. How could it possibly be bad since it inspired such extraordinary music from its composer?"
He goes on to say:
"Opera celebrates the irrationality of the emotions, their burning destructivness and searing power. The inner world of Il trovatore is not logical, not rational. It is violent, destructive, all consuming, anarchic, nightmarish."
He points out that there are over one hundred references to fire in the libretto, which is why he decided to use so much fire on the stage.
Next: Taking their bows
Here the gypsies -- supernumeraries and members of the stage chorus -- are taking their bows after the performance.
All told about 1600 people work for the Bregenz Festival during the summer -- but only 60 the rest of the year.
Next: The Audience
At the end of the 2005 festival season they announced that nearly two hundred thousand tickets had been sold: 199,485 to be exact.
172,862 of these were tickets to the twenty-six open air performances of Verdi's Il trovatore. The rest were for the many concerts and smaller productions at various venues in Bregenz.
They say they sold 95% of the available tickets.
Next: End of the evening
After the singers and supernumeraries have taken their bows and left the stage, the diver who has been on standby the whole evening gathers up her equipment and climbs up the ladder.
Fortunately nobody fell into the water tonight, but she was there just in case.
Back to my Bregenz intro page
Back to the beginning of the opera evening
Since the stage is completely surrounded by water, there is always the possibility that one of the hundreds of people involved in the production might fall in.
Of course they all have to know how to swim. I don't know if there is actually a swimming test, but in 2002 I was told that one of the singers had to take swimming lessons before she was allowed to set foot on the stage.
As a precaution, though, at least two trained and fully equipped divers are posted on the shore throughout each performance. Because I was sitting in the corner seat in the first row in the lower left hand corner one night, I was able to get these two pictures of one of the divers getting herself and her equipment into place for the evening.
Second photo: Diver in readiness.
Next: Troubadour Act 1 Scene 1
SOMETIMES WHEN ONE IS VERY BUSY TRAVELING THEY GET A LITTLE TIRED..
SO WHEN IN BREGENZ..CHECK OUT THE SACRED HEARTS CHURCH NOT ONLY FOR IT'S BEUTY BUT ALSO FOR THE RELAXED AND MUCH NEEDED PEACEFULNESS IT CAN PROVIDE!!!!
Fondest memory: IT'S BEAUTY IN OCTOBER WAS SWEET!!!!
Favorite thing: Bregenz Tourism Office (Bregenz Tourismus & Stadtmarketing) offers an excellent tourist map of the city. It is free. Do not spend your money on maps! The office is located on Bahnhofstrasse street, only some 350 meters away from Bregenz train station (Bahnhof Bregenz).
I love the Pfander and the Old Town Square. And the lake front and the resturaunts...and I guess everything else.
Fondest memory: I miss Bregenz at Christmas. We spent Christmas there last year and on Christmas Eve, my mother and I walked to the town square where half the town had gathered. There was a small band, a live nativity, and a vendor selling hot wine and cider. We both bought cups of wine and stood around and talked with everyone. Right as darkness came upon us, a light snow began falling. It was so magical that for a moment I forgot that I wasn't Austrian. I felt right at home.