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The Sunday Opera: Verdi's "Il Trovatore" from the Swedish Royal Opera

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It’s the first of two archival performances from the Swedish Royal Opera on this week’s Sunday Opera (8/15 3:00 p.m.).   We’re beginning with Jussi Bjorling’s last stage appearance in Giuseppe Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” just weeks before his untimely death.   Bjorling is Manrico, one of two brothers in love with Leonora (Hjordis Schymberg).  Manrico and his brother, the Count di Luna (Hugo Hasslo) are unaware that they are brothers as Manrico was abducted as an infant by Azucena (Kerstin Meyer) to avenge the death of her mother who was burned alive.   Azucena, confused and upset by her mother’s screams, threw her own child into a fire instead of Manrico.  Then, in remorse, she raised Manrico as her own.   This withheld information leads to a tragic ending for all four.   Herbert Sandberg leads the Swedish Royal Opera Chorus and Orchestra.  If you aren’t familiar with Jussi Bjorling, this is sure to be an eye-opening experience.  After the opera, please join Michael Kownacky for music by Swedish composers (since we're at the Swedih Royal Opera today) that’ll include a Symphonic Poem for organ by Elfrida Andree, the Symphony No. 1 of Ture Rangstrom which is subtitled “August Strindberg in memoriam,” the wonderfully lush Symphony No. 3 of Kurt Atterberg, and Lars-Erik Larsson’s charming Little Suite.  

Take a break with us this Sunday afternoon for some glorious music.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.