****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** There is an individual set piece in Lyric Opera’s current production of “Il Trovatore” which dominates the entire evening’s proceedings. Located slightly upstage and positioned stage right is a large, crudely carved depiction of Jesus on the cross, hewn from a single block of dark timber. This crucifix remains fixed in place even as the rest of the set accommodates itself effortlessly around it, always in plain sight from the top of the show until the final curtain calls. There is nothing particularly attractive about this relic. However, when it is lit from the side wings (as it is during most of the performance) it casts a large shadow upon the back wall of the stage — a shadow which eerily resembles that of an angel with wings outstretched as it ascends into heaven. This haunting image conveys not only the spirit of an innocent young child whose bones are discovered in the ashes of a pyre but also doubles as a guardian angel who is constantly watching over the ill-fated romance of the troubadour and the queen’s lady-in-waiting. 4 BIG SPOTLIGHTS
Remaining performances for “Il Trovatore” are November 30th, December 3rd, 6th and 9th. Estimated running time is 2 hours and 40 minutes, including one 25-minute intermission.
“Il Trovatore” is presented at the Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. Best parking option: The Poetry Garage, 201 West Madison, $12 in advance at www.thepoetrygarage.com. Valet parking is also available – $30. Tickets range from $39-$269. FYI (312) 827-5600 or www.lyricopera.org/Trovatore.
Read reviews by Carol Moore and Jeffrey Leibham at www.spotlightonlake.com