Artists in 'Il Trovatore' Houston Grand Opera's production of Verdi's Il Trovatore features mezzo-soprano Irina Mishura as Azucena, soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as Leonora and tenor Marcello Giordani as Manrico.
NPR logo Featured Artists in Verdi's 'Il Trovatore'

Featured Artists in Verdi's 'Il Trovatore'

Mezzo-soprano Irina Mishura plays Azucena, whose quest for revenge leads to the death of her own, adopted son. IMG Artists hide caption

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IMG Artists

As Leonora, Sondra Radvanovsky plays the one character in Verdi's Il Trovatore whose actions and motives arise from sincere love and devotion, uncolored by an obsession with revenge. IMG Artists hide caption

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IMG Artists

Tenor Marcello Giordani specializes in the dramatic tenor roles of Verdi's operas, including Manrico in Il Trovatore. Photo: Brett Coomer/Houston Grand Opera hide caption

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Photo: Brett Coomer/Houston Grand Opera

Mezzo-soprano Irina Mishura, soprano Sondra Radvanovsky and tenor Marcello Giordani star in Houston Grand Opera's production of Verdi's Il Trovatore, from the Wortham Theater Center.

Irina Mishura

Mezzo-Soprano (Azucena)

Russian-born Irina Mishura began her operatic career at the Moldavian State Opera, and has since appeared on stages throughout Europe, and in North and South America. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2000, as Dalila opposite Placido Domingo in Saint-Saens's Samson and Delilah. Her debut at London's Royal Opera was as Azucena in Il Trovatore, and she made her Vienna State Opera debut in the title role of Bizet's Carmen.

Mishura's other frequent roles include Amneris in Verdi's Aida, Adalgisa in Bellini's Norma and Marina in Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov.

Sondra Radvanovsky

Soprano (Leonora)

Sondra Radvanovsky has become particularly well-known for her acclaimed performances in leading Verdi roles, including Leonora in Il Trovatore, Elisabetta in Don Carlo, Violetta in La Traviata and Lina in Stiffelio. At the Metropolitan Opera, she has appeared in Il Trovatore, and as Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni and Elena in Verdi's I Vespri Siciliani.

Radvanovsky was winner at the 1997 George London Foundation Competition. She also won the 1995 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Sondra Radvanovsky and her husband live in Toronto, Canada.

Marcello Giordani

Tenor (Manrico)

Marcello Giordani has an operatic repertory ranging from Berlioz to Bellini, and is well-known for his interpretation of dramatic tenor roles in the works of Verdi and Puccini.

He made his La Scala debut in 1988 as Rodolfo in Puccini's La Boheme, and first appeared at the Metropolitan Opera as Nemorino in Donizetti's The Elixir of Love. Along with Il Trovatore, Giordani's other Verdi operas include Rigoletto, La Forza del Destino, Simon Boccanegra and I Vespri Siciliani. He has also performed the leading roles in Puccini's Turandot, Madame Butterfly and Tosca, appearing in theaters across Europe and in the United States.

In concert, Giordani has been acclaimed for his performances in Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust with conductor James Levine, and Verdi's Requiem with Zubin Mehta.

Giordani is a native of Sicily. He made his operatic debut in Spoleto in 1986.