Narrating Il Trovatore
I recently narrated Il Trovatore, the opera by Giuseppe Verdi, for Pacific Opera in San Diego, as Verdi himself. In it, I read a letter to my love Josephina, about a libretto I have just found. The tale of Il Trovatore, the troubadour. Soprano Caroline Nelms, Ynez in the opera, had recommended me to the producer Carlos Oliva, to narrate the opera.
Luis Lima played the tenor role of Manrico. What a voice!
Luis made his opera debut in 1974, in Lisbon, in Cavalleria rusticana, and since then sang in seventy-seven performances at the Metropolitan Opera (from 1977 to 2001) in nine different roles, starting with Alfredo Germont in La traviata. He has also sung with the New York City Opera (1978–79, debuting in Madama Butterfly), at the Teatro alla Scala (first appearing in Lucia di Lammermoor, 1977) and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (from 1984).
In 1979, Lima recorded Massenet’s Le roi de Lahore for Decca, opposite Dame Joan Sutherland. In 1988, he filmed Mozart’s Così fan tutte, directed by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle and conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, with Teresa Stratas as Despina and Ferruccio Furlanetto as Guglielmo.
Jennifer Lindsay performed in the role of Leonora, and what an incredible soprano she is. Luis Lima deferred to Ms. Lindsay at curtain the second night of the performances, and that respect and admiration from the great opera singer was well deserved. She was quite stunning.
So, where’s the sausage and peppers?
What has all that got to do with Sausage and Peppers? Simply this. Opera people, and their friends and supporters have to eat. Sausage and Peppers was one of the primary dishes served at the cast party after the opera was over. Carlos Oliva, the producer, and Count Di Luna in the opera, and his wife Terry Hughes-Olivia, co-producer, and Azucena in the opera, hosted the party. Their son brought the sausages and peppers. I had never had sausage and peppers before and it was an immediate taste treat. I may have gone back for seconds, and quite possibly thirds. But don’t tell anybody. OK?
Well, since I liked the dish so much I tried to make it myself, and it was delicious. Here’s what I did.
5 to 6 sweet Italian sausage links. Pork, or Turkey sausage. I used the turkey and the dish tasted delicious.
3 Bell Peppers, Green, Red, and Yellow. They all taste the same, but the color makes it a fun dish to cook
One or two onions of your choosing. I used one yellow onion, and it worked out fine.
Olive oil, because why not?
At least a teaspoon full of minced garlic, spread throughout the dish while it’s cooking.
Dried basil to taste.
Here’s the procedure.
Brown the sausage, and then set it aside.
Cut the onions length wise, in long wedges. Sautee them in the olive oil.
Clean and slice up the bell peppers in long strips.
This is what the pan looked like with the sliced onions and bell peppers. I sauteed the onions first in the flavors left over by the browned sausages, and then added the sliced peppers. Isn’t it pretty?
Then, cut up the browned sausages into bite sized pieces, or bigger, if you like to get really passionate with your bites of sausage. Put them in the pan, and let the magic happen as they simmer and cook for about 25 minutes.
Oh! So good.