Manrico: heroic or lyric?

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Opera Vivrà
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Manrico: heroic or lyric?

Post by Opera Vivrà »

Without doubt one of the great moments in any good opera performance is when a singer unleashes a thrilling, full-blooded high note that rips across the combined sound of the orchestra and ensemble leaving the audience a gasp and astounded. Tenors (and their followers) have often been famed, and perhaps accused, for their love of the ‘acuti’ (especially the high C), and one of the most celebrated excuses in the Tenor canon for this to occur is in the role of Manrico, from Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”. The cabaletta ‘Di Quella Pira’ is a veritable “Everest” of a piece of music that can seal the fate of many a performer. Many have attempted to scale its treacherous face, some with more panache or gusto than others and some of who never quite reach the top, though one cannot deny that, for the conqueror, it can secure the greatest ovation of the evening.
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Re: Manrico: heroic or lyric?

Post by Geoff »

I've just read John D'Ancona's quite splendid article about 'Il Trovatore' and it is very obvious that he and I share a love of this blood and thunder Operatic hokum. It is full of wonderful lyric melodrama from start to finish of its improbable plot and it even has an historical if somewhat vague background, would you believe. Based on the play 'El Trovador' (1836) by Antonio Garcia Gutierrez, I recall Luciano Pavarotti mentioning that the hero Manrico (the troubador) was supposed to be a sixteen year old boy ! So; heroic or lyric ? I have any number of recordings of this old warhorse including one where Manrico is sung by Herbert Lippert (a former member of the Vienna Boys choir and a decent if light voiced Mozartian tenor !!). A total opposite to the heroic and splendid Manrico of Franco Bonisolli ( a favourite, bless his memory). Other Manricos include Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras, Di Stefano, Corelli, Bergonzi, Alagna etc., and then there's Bjorling, - Ah! Beat that!!!


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