In the palace gardens, Leonora confides in her companion Ines that she is in love with a mysterious man she met before the outbreak of the war, and that he is the troubadour who serenades her each night. After they have left, Count di Luna appears, looking for Leonora. When she hears the troubadour’s song in the darkness, Leonora rushes out to greet her beloved but mistakenly embraces di Luna. The troubadour reveals his true identity: He is Manrico, leader of the partisan rebel forces. Furious, the count challenges him to fight to the death.
A band of gypsies gathers at their mountain hideout. Azucena is the woman for whom di Luna has been searching. Her life is scarred by the memory of her mother’s death and the terrible revenge she exacted. Manrico, who has never heard the full story, is determined to finally know the truth. Azucena tells him how she stole the older count’s infant son but, in her manic rage, accidentally murdered her own child instead. When Manrico demands to know who he truly is, Azucena is evasive: All that matters is the mother’s love she has shown him all his life and that he does not fail to take revenge on the house of di Luna. A messenger arrives with news that Leonora, believing that Manrico has fallen in battle and hoping to escape di Luna’s grasp, is entering a convent. Azucena pleads with Manrico to stay, but he resolves to go to her immediately.
Di Luna arrives at the convent with his troops to take Leonora by force, but his attempt to seize her is foiled when Manrico and his men attack. In the ensuing chaos, the lovers escape.
Inside the castle, Manrico and Leonora are preparing to be married. She is frightened, but he assures her of his love even in the face of death. When news of Azucena’s capture arrives, Manrico summons his forces and prepares to attack.
In their cell, Manrico tries to comfort Azucena, who is terrified of the stake and the fire that await her. Leonora appears to tell Manrico that he is saved and urges him to escape. Understanding that she has promised herself to di Luna, he denounces her and refuses to flee. But the poison is already taking effect, and Leonora dies in his arms, just as di Luna arrives. He sends Manrico to his execution. Azucena cries out that her mother is avenged: di Luna has killed his own brother.
2 hours 58 minutes with one intermission
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