Blood brothers, separated at birth, become deadly rivals in love and in war. A mother, burnt at the stake for bewitching a child, is avenged by her gypsy daughter. A beautiful aristocrat sacrifices her honour to save the man she loves. The hot Spanish passions of these interwoven stories are distilled by Verdi into a score which for sheer tunefulness and vocal glory has no equal in his entire output. The immortal love songs of the principal characters contrast with the Anvil Chorus, the Soldiers Chorus and the matchless tension of the Miserere to create the essence of Italian opera.