The gypsy Azucena has harbored a grudge for thirty years, but she is about to have revenge at last. Meanwhile, her son Manrico is in love with Leonora, but so is his arch-enemy, the Count Di Luna. A pot-boiler, where every tune is a hit.
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Marcelo Álvarez ...
Manrico
Sondra Radvanovsky ...
Leonora
Dmitri Hvorostovsky ...
Count di Luna
Dolora Zajick ...
Azucena
Stefan Kocán ...
Ferrando
Maria Zifchak ...
Ines
Eduardo Valdes ...
Ruiz
Raymond Aparentado ...
A Messenger
Robert Maher ...
A Gypsy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marco Armiliato ...
Himself - Conducted by
...
Herself - Host
Metropolitan Opera Chorus ...
Chorus
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra ...
Themselves - Orchestra
...
Anvil
Deborah Voigt ...
Herself - Star of Walküre
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Storyline

The gypsy Azucena has harbored a grudge for thirty years, but she is about to have revenge at last. Meanwhile, her son Manrico is in love with Leonora, but so is his arch-enemy, the Count Di Luna. A pot-boiler, where every tune is a hit.

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classical | See All (1) »

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Music

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Release Date:

30 April 2011 (USA)  »

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(original)

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(NTSC Color)

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

 
An outstanding Trovatore
8 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I have a fondness for Il Trovatore. The story is rather convoluted, but the music is phenomenal and perhaps Verdi's most melodically rich score. This is an outstanding production, the best one I've seen in a long time. The High Definition is always impressive in the Met HD series, and Il Trovatore is no exception. The camera work is fluid, the sound is sharp and the picture quality is clear. I loved the production values, some scenes had the darkness they should while not being too dark, and the costumes are both flattering and fitting, Zajick especially looks the part of Azucena.

From a musical point of view, the Met again pull the stops. The orchestra have the pathos for Ah Si Ben Mio, the Miserere and D'Amor Sull'Alle Rosee, Di Quella Pira and Anvil Chorus are heroic and joyful and Stride Le Vampa and the end of Act 1 have intensity, never losing the impact from start to finish. The conducting is brisk and thoughtful, with a touch of elegance too, and the chorus sing with great balance and sense of diction, intonation and dynamics, though some of the vibrato is a tad heavy at times.

David McVicar's stage direction is to be applauded. He is an interesting director, but has been known to have made some strange choices(just see his Covent Garden Faust for instance). Of the productions on stage he's directed, this Il Trovatore was the best one, it was clear, psychologically insightful and never questionable or static.

Of the performances, the best was Dolora Zajick as Azucena. When I first saw her in 1989's Aida and 1988's Il Trovatore I fell in love with her singing, finding her hugely compelling vocally, but it wasn't until her 90s rendition of O Don Fatale when I realised how great an actress she is. At nearly 60 she shows everybody how it's all done with a richly-voiced and dramatically riveting account of one of Verdi's hardest mezzo soprano roles.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky is a commanding DiLuna, he is both menacing and human. His voice is not the largest in size, which is perhaps not ideal for the trios and he has a tendency to gasp too audibly while breathing, but he has a truly beautiful timbre and Il Balen is very musically phrased. Sondra Radvanovsky sings with excellent clarity, if occasionally under-pitch, and has a great lyric-spinto voice, especially in the final act.

When talking about the four principals, Marcelo Alvarez was what I call the "weak link" as Manrico. Alvarez has a wonderful voice, one of the better tenors today I feel, and is a dashing presence on stage. The tone is ringing and beautiful, apart from the odd "strangled" note in Act 3, but I couldn't help thinking that his voice was too lyric for the role, Di Quella Pira is not as hefty or as thrilling as it should've been.

The support cast are fine, the best being the promising Inez of Maria Zifchak, previously an excellent Suzuki and Enrichetta. Ferrando, courtesy of Stefan Kocan, is well-projected if dry in tone. Overall, outstanding, a couple of minor glitches here and there, but overall one of the better Trovatores I've seen. 9.5/10 Bethany Cox


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