The Metropolitan Opera: Il Trovatore
Running Time: 165 min.
Release year: 2015
based on 6 votes and 1 reviews
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Sondra Radvanovsky, Marcelo Álvarez, Dolora Zajick, Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Count Di Luna and Manrico are rivals for Lady Leonora's love. When Leonora declares her love for Manrico, the two men duel. Although Manrico has the chance to kill Di Luna, a mysterious force from within him stays his hand and allows Di Luna to live. Later, Manrico listens to his aging mother, the gypsy Azucena, describe the death of her own mother, who was burned at the stake after being accused of hexing a nobleman's son. Azucena vowed revenge, and tried to kill the nobleman's second-born son, but accidentally killed her own child instead. She raised the younger son as her own. That younger brother was Manrico. Azucena assures Manrico that although he is not her biological son, she still loves him as a mother.
Word comes that Leonora, thinking Manrico dead from the duel, will be entering a convent. Both Di Luna and Manrico try to intercept her on her way, leading to another fight, and the escape of Manrico and Leonora together. Di Luna and his men follow them and set up camp. A guard discovers Azucena hiding. As she describes her sorry life, Di Luna recognizes herthe gypsy who kidnapped and killed his brother, and the daughter of the gypsy who cursed him!
Marco Armiliato, James Levine
The Metropolitan Opera
Giuseppe Verdi, Salvatore Cammarano
"Great cast headed by today's number one Verdi soprano, Sandra Radvanovsky. It is said that Verdi required 5 of the greatest singers when he wrote Il Trovatore and this cast delivers as well as any singing today. The production is adequate considering Verdi's convoluted libretto. Radvanovsky's Leonora could be just another operatic cliche: a stand-there-and-sing portrayal. Instead, she portrays her as just a little bit "off" right from the beginning, making her role more interesting. When combined with her luscious singing there is no one else today who can surpass her. Who else today could manage Leonora's great Fourth Act aria and scena better than Sandra who gorgeously floats her high notes and sings the cadenza exactly as written? No easy feat! My only complaint is with the conducting which has no sense of the overall architecture of the score and lacks the requisite forward thrust. This conductor has proven himself better suited to verismo and traditional bel-canto where he seems to be able to keep things moving more effectively. If I could give this 4.5, it would be because of the conducting."