As far as Il Trovatore productions go, I prefer the 1978 with Domingo, Kabaivanska, Cappucilli and Cossotto and the 1988 with Pavarotti, Marton, Milnes and Zajick productions over this Il Trovatore. However this Il Trovatore is excellent mostly.
The opera is a favourite, although the story is complicated at times, the music is phenomenal and some of Verdi's best music, not just the Anvil Chorus, Soldier's Chorus and Di Quella Pira but also my favourite Il Balen.
What I loved most was the authentic setting and costumes and the video directing and picture quality did them perfect justice. The orchestra throughout are superb, and while occasionally a little fast Rozzi's conducting is commanding.
The performances are fine and are served well by the good acoustics. The chorus do a great job and are well balanced. If there was one performance I wasn't entirely sure about it was Jose Cura. He looks the part and commands the stage very well, but there are times where his lovely baritonal-like tenor voice is rather wobbly, particularly in Desserto Sulla Terra.
Veronica Villaroel is a very convincing Leonora with her pianissimos especially effective. The best of the evening though are Dmitri Hvorostovsky as a Count that is both menacing and nuanced making for a beautifully sung and effective performance and Yvonne Naef who is a powerful Azucena both in acting and vocals.
In conclusion, mostly good all round. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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