I love Verdi's opera Il Trovatore. It may have a convoluted story at times, but it is thematically rich and the music is stunning. My favourites so far of Il Trovatore when it comes to productions are the 1978 and 1988 productions, however this one while my least favourite Trovatore is quite good.
Albeit it is not perfect. Il Trovatore is a quite dark and atmospheric work, so naturally you would want dark lighting in order to not juxtapose the mood. However, the lighting here is so dark and so austere that you sometimes have to strain your eyes to see what's going on. The conducting is rather stodgy at points, and the Anvil Chorus while decently balanced and sung is very stolid and joyless.
On the other hand, the minimalistic sets are attractive and the costumes are very attractive, Sutherland especially looks very commanding. The music is brilliant of course, most of the staging is good enough Il Balen is particularly understated yet communicative and the singing is fine. Joan Sutherland is not in her prime, but she is still in magnificent voice being very beautiful and with flute-like clarity. Diction is not the best, however she sings wonderfully and acts well. Kenneth Collins is a believable Manrico, Jonathan Summers is a menacing and very well-sung Count Di Luna and Lauris Elms is an outstanding Azucena.
All in all, a good production if not great. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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