Graves, a native of Washington, is best known for her performances in the title roles of Carmen and Samson et Dalila. Next year, she will sing the title role in the world premiere of Richard Danielpour's opera Margaret Garner, with a libretto by novelist Toni Morrison.
Also in Il trovatore's opening-night cast are Wolfgang Brendel as Count di Luna, Mikhail Davidoff as Manrico, and Krassimira Stoyanova as Leonora. Davidoff and Stoyanova are making their WNO debuts.
Stephen Lawless directs the staging, a co-production with Los Angeles Opera and Goteburg Opera of Sweden. It runs through November 13.