7 JUNE 1989 PRINCE CHARLES AND PRINCESS DIANA ATTEND THE ROYAL GALA PERFORMANCE OF IL TROVATORE AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, COVENT GARDEN, LONDON

image imageJUNE 7 1989: Prince Charles and Princess Diana arriving at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, for the Royal Gala Performance of Il Trovatore with Placido Domingo as Manrico, the Count’s rival. The royal couple were guests of honor that evening at the performance.
imageThe performance was conducted by Bernard Haitink and featured Placido Domingo, Rosalind Plowright, Willard White, Eva Randova and Sergei Leiferkus in a short-lived production by Piero Faggioni. The performance that night was dedicated to the memory of Giuseppe Patanè (1932-89). The National Anthem was played at the beginning of the performance.
imageA true gem of the operatic repertoire, Il Trovatore is one of Verdi’s most beloved masterpieces. With Rigoletto and La Traviata, Il Trovatore is part of the Trilogia popolare. The opera was premiered on January 19, 1853, at the Teatro Apollo in Rome. It immediately encountered great success, and during the following years, Verdi’s Trovatore toured in the most prestigious opera house around Europe: Teatro alla Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice, the Théâtre de la comédie italienne and the Opéra national de Paris, as well as the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London.
imageThe action takes place during the 15th century. A rumour says that years ago, a gypsy was wrongly accused to have bewitched the youngest of the Di Luna children, who had fallen sick. For the crime that she was accused of, the gypsy was burnt alive. At her death, she asked her daughter Azucena to avenge her, which she did by abducting the baby. Even though the count then found burnt bones in the pyre, he could never believe that his son was dead. He commanded his firstborn, the now count di Luna, to find Azucena… The plot is based on the four main characters: Azucena, the Count di Luna, Leonora (lady-in-waiting to the Princess, with whom the count is in love) and Manrico (the count’s rival).
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