Verdi's Il Trovatore

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Verdi’s Il Trovatore again storms the Met stage in a star-studded, anvil-wielding cast that reprises the core of the production’s 2009 premiere, including Sondra Radvanovsky, Dolora Zajick and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Marcelo Álvarez sings Manrico, the troubadour of the title.

When McVicar’s production had its 2009 Met premiere, the New York Times celebrated its “clear-headed, psychologically insightful and fluid staging.” McVicar’s take on the tale of power plays in Biscay and Aragon in the middle of the fifteenth century is updated in this staging to early 19th century during the Spanish War of Independence.

Il Trovatore had its premiere at the Teatro Apollo in Rome on January 19, 1853. The Tiber River had reportedly overflowed its banks, leaving opera-goers wet footed but well sated in their appreciation for the new work.

“The public listened to every number with religious silence and broke out with applause at every interval,” reported the Gazzetta Musicale. “The end of the third act and the whole of the fourth arousing such enthusiasm that their repetition was demanded.”

What the opera may lack in plot it more than makes up for in its musical score, a mid-career work for Verdi and among his most heralded.

Cast and credits:

Conductor: Marco Armiliato

Leonora: Sondra Radvanovsky

Azucena: Dolora Zajick

Manrico: Marcelo Álvarez

di Luna: Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Ferrando: Stefan Kocán

Production: David McVicar

Comments [9]

Brian Lowery from near Charles Town, WV

As for me, I enjoyed this Il Trovatore, so much I listened to it twice. Once on Thursday on WFMT via the Internet and again on Saturday on the radio broadcast. The way I see it, nobody's perfect but they did well enough for Verdi's genius to shine through. Yes, it would have been great to have a every role sung perfectly, but I enjoyed it. This week I listened to all 3 of my CDs of Trovatore, 'cause I couldn't get the music out of my head.

May. 03 2011 08:47 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane from BOONTON, NJ

IL TROVATORE has the ingredients as few operas have of all the emotions, the actions, the philosophical motivations, the setting, whether it follows Verdi's intentions or an updated rendezvous with venue. The singing, for the most part, was splendid. Kudos to all concerned!

Apr. 30 2011 04:32 PM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

Yes, the orchestra sounded great. All in all it was not a total loss. The other singers did well. I should stop comparing them to Zinka and Jussi. I got spoiled. I did like the tenor's singing. Never heard him before.

Apr. 30 2011 04:30 PM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

Too many shrieks Ms.Radvanovsky. I gave her the benefit of the doubt but she is a ham. This opera is a bel-canto opera or it becomes nothing more than a campy Spanish massacre. The other singers did well. Thank God. I stayed home just to hear this opera. Surprised the audience applauded after the last shrieks.

Apr. 30 2011 03:45 PM
Fred from UWS

I agree with Concetta's first comment. Her voice seems a little foggy - like the diction isn't all there. Maybe it's the microphones? She is improving though. This role suits her more than Tosca a few weeks ago did.

Wow, the Met Orchestra sounds great today. Must hear more of this conductor.

Apr. 30 2011 03:42 PM
Concetta Nardone from Elmont, NY

Ms. Radvanovsky did well on this rather difficult aria. She kind of overdid the final phrases. I got spoiled listening to Zinka when growing up. The Di quella Pizza went well, only kidding folks. We always called it that.I am visualizing the sets that were inspired by Goya. Sounds wonderful. I still have the scene with Jan Peerce and Deanna Durban singing the Miserere in my mind. So many years ago.

Apr. 30 2011 03:30 PM
A. S.

Mr Hvorotovsky's technical flaws would be forgivable and perhaps even an asset if his musical interpretation made any sense. The applause he received after Il Balen makes one wonder if flash and a good haircut have come to be more important than artistry and inspiration.

Apr. 30 2011 02:31 PM
c nardone from Elmont, NY

Very nice Mr. Hvorostovsky. Love is a dart and not even a god will take her away from me. Wow. Such heat. Dolores did very well so far as the hag. Ms. Radvanovsky sounds a little better. Must be warming up.
Tenor not so bad. Not Jussi Bjoerling or Gigli but who was? Waiting with baited breath for Di Quella Pira(?) or was it Pizza.
Oh my goodness, the Count has a fury in the heart. Warning signs should be posted when love is in the area.

Apr. 30 2011 02:22 PM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

Ms. Radvanovsky voice is cloudy and heavy. I think she needs to listen to some recordings by Zinka Milanov to get an idea of what a pianissimo should sound like. As for Mr. Hvorostovsky, such a great looking guy. My reaction to his advances would be "Sure, why not." There is a film out there called Something in the Wind, whereby Jan Peerce and Deanna Durbin sing the Miserere. I still remember that scene. Now I just heard Ms. Radvanovsky scream. And we only need Margaret's comments. Ira can go home. I know he sounds like a pleasant enough bloke but too much talk.

Apr. 30 2011 01:30 PM

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