“Il Trovatore,” or “the troubadour,” is the story of star-crossed lovers, mixed-up infants, and acts of vengeance. Count Di Luna and Manrico, the wandering minstrel or “troubadour” of the title, are rivals for Lady Leonora’s love. When Leonora declares her love for Manrico, the two men duel. Although Manrico has the chance to kill Di Luna, a mysterious force from within him stays his hand and allows Di Luna to live. Later, Manrico listens to his aging mother, the gypsy Azucena, describe the death of her own mother, who was burned at the stake after being accused of hexing a nobleman’s son. Azucena vowed revenge, and tried to kill the nobleman’s second-born son, but accidentally killed her own child instead. She raised the younger son as her own. That younger brother was Manrico. Azucena assures Manrico that although he is not her biological son, she still loves him as a mother. Word comes that Leonora, thinking Manrico dead from the duel, will be entering a convent. Both Di Luna and Manrico try to intercept her on her way, leading to another fight, and the escape of Manrico and Leonora together. Di Luna and his men follow them and set up camp. A guard discovers Azucena hiding. As she describes her sorry life, Di Luna recognizes her—the gypsy who kidnapped and killed his brother, and the daughter of the gypsy who cursed him! Di Luna orders her burnt at the stake as revenge. Meanwhile, Manrico and Leonora are about to be married, but one of Manrico’s aides arrives and alerts them that Azucena is about to be executed. Manrico immediately leaves to save his adoptive mother. Both he and Azucena are then imprisoned by Di Luna’s men. Di Luna agrees to let them live—but only if Leonora will give herself over. Leonora agrees, but secretly swallows poison. Leonora bursts into the prison cell to tell Manrico that he has been saved. He realizes the terrible price of his freedom and denounces her, but very quickly the poison takes effect, and Leonora dies in his arms. Angry at losing his ransomed bride, Di Luna orders Manrico executed immediately. Azucena sees him killed and cries out that her mother has been avenged: Di Luna has murdered his own brother!