The imposing grandeur of the Arena di Verona is the setting for Il Trovatore, one of Verdi?s greatest masterpieces, with stage designs by the distinguished sculptor Mario Ceroli. For many years Il Trovatore has been an ope... more »ra of worldwide popularity and the cast in this production is worthy of the opera?s perennial success. It features the talents of the British soprano Rosalind Plowright in her Verona debut, a wealth of vocal experience from Fiorenza Cossotto as Azucena, matched with Giorgio Zancanaro?s strong portrayal of the Count and Franco Bonisolli in fine voice as Manrico, the troubadour. Il Trovatore was written at the peak of Verdi?s career and its swift, spontaneous and stirring passages are a vivid illustration of his genius for the melodramatic; it is one of his most genuinely innovative works. "... pure delight, aurally and visually." OPERA« less
"I would give the main singers the following ratings:
Bonisolli - A++ Cossotto - A++ Zancanaro - A Plowright - B
Bonisolli's singing is thrilling - his 'Pira' is so perfect, you could die for it - the audience loves it, so they go through it a second time. Bonisolli looks quite handsome in this video. His acting is blustery and he basically stomps around the stage and makes sweeping motions with his arms - exactly what you expect from a great tenor - it works! Zancanaro does the same and it seems to work fine for him too.
Cossotto's singing is also terrific with her fierce chest notes. She holds one of those low notes a super long time and the audience is ecstatic. Her acting is a little over the top but it also works - she seems very committed to the role.
Zancanaro sings a tiny bit blustery. On a couple of the ensembles his lack of agility is quite noticeable, but all in all, he sings well. He has very pleasing, rock-solid high notes.
Plowright is way too pushed at the top. She also runs completely out of breath and gets behind during the Act 1 cabaletta. She makes me feel she was really always a mezzo, not a soprano. Her pleasant voice, pleasant stage presence, good acting, and good diction make up for some of the lack though.
The Ferrando was fine but nothing to write home about.
It's worth it for Bonisolli and Cossotto in my opinion."
Viewer | 04/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is a large-scale production. The camera focuses at the beginning on the audiance to illustrate how many people are there. It is open-air and still a very good sound quality. Perhaps due to the singers.
The cast is very strong, in the virtuosic aspects: Bonisolli does not posses the prettiest of voices, but his technique is electrifying, and I enjoyed his Manrico very much. Zancanaro has a great voice; I have him also singing in Butterfly and Don Carlo and he is terrific. Plowright sings and acts well, although she missed the high C at the end of act one (Bonisolli backed her up).
What is special about this dvd is having Fiorenza Cossotto. Yes, there are many available recordings of her in that role, but this is her last (as far as I'm aware of). She is still in full control of the range and dynamics - she hits the high B flat with no difficulty. Plus, her experinece as Azucena is vast and it is shown. Her quality of voice is less refined than it used to be - most apparent is the heavy vibrato, but that fits the part. She has always sounded too high, and she still does, but at least she sounds old ;)
The conducting is no more than conventional, but it's not necessarily a bad thing.
Buy this for Cossotto's most mature Azucena!"
Close your eyes and listen, but don't watch
D. Layman | Elizabethtown, PA United States | 08/02/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"After reading the effusive reviews of my fellow-reviewers, and buying it based on their recommendation, I find this product a major disappointment. When I was able to begin buying my own LPs in college, 30 years ago, Il Trovatore was one of the first operas I bought.
In watching this version, I was bored stiff. I don't consider myself an opera expert, so I don't claim to have fully analyzed the problem, but I would identify two areas:
Except for Zancanaro as Count di Luna, the principals cannot act. Fiorenza Cossotto as Azucena is especially a disappointment: she has two major gestures in her scene with Manrico: arms crossed over her chest, and hands stretched to her mouth. The revelation to Manrico that he is not her real son passes without any dramatic action.
Secondly, then we have direction: I am amazed to read that Brian Large did the TV direction. Well, I guess everyone has a bad night now and then. In the scene where (I believe, the Count's) soldiers march off the stage, I almost laughed out loud. You would think you were watching some 9th grade high school thespians. It was wooden and unimaginative.
I have watched it twice, and don't plan to watch it again. Anyone want a copy cheap? If not, save your money for a high-quality audio version, and enjoy the wonderful Verdi tunes--with your eyes shut or open, as you see fit."
Otro Trovatore espléndido
alvar fañez | santiago de chile | 11/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ya teníamos un Trovatore excelente con Domingo, Cossotto, Cappuccilli y Kabaivanska, ahora tenemos dos. Realmente recomiendo a los amantes de esta ópera tener ambas versiones ya que las dos brillan a gran altura. La puesta en escena de esta versión en la arena de Verona es de gran belleza y originalidad. El vestuario variado y elegante resulta muy adecuado para la ambientación del tema. La orquesta y el coro bajo la dirección de Reynald Giovaninetti hacen una entrega de gran profesionalismo y contundencia. Los cuatro solistas principales cantan en gran forma. Partiendo por la atractiva Rosalind Plowrihgt cuya voz, de gran belleza, fluye con mucha armonía logrando impresionar en cada área, cabaletta y conjuntos tanto por su volumen como por su color. Además demuestra excelentes condiciones histriónicas. Todo lo anterior la hacen, a mi juicio, la mejor intérprete de Leonora desde la Callas. Otro tanto se puede decir del magnífico desempeño de Franco Bonisolli, quien nos muestra una voz brillante y segura, como asimismo una generosa entrega, configurando un Manrico apasionado y heróico. Fiorenza Cossotto, que se repite en ambas versiones, nuevamente está espléndida mostrando la potencia de su instrumento y cantando con un pathos que emociona. Giorgio Zancanaro, qué gran barítono es, está en la plenitud de su voz y entrega un Conde de Luna firme y vengativo. También en este caso quisiera referirme a la belleza de timbre y color de su voz. Todo lo anterior hacen de esta versión una opción imprescindible para los amantes de la ópera verdiana. De Zancanaro y Cossotto tenemos muchas grabaciones pero, uno se pregunta ¿por qué de Plowright y Bonosolli hay tan pocas? Sería maravilloso que las casas editoras pudieran entregarnos otras óperas cantadas por ellos para satifacción de los amantes del arte operático."
J. A. Urquidi | Bolivia | 07/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Superlative singing and acting from everyone, particularly Fiorenza Cossotto, who has the most experience for Azucena's part. There should be a better sound level balance from the orchestra. As I have said for a similar problem in the last act of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera Marriage of Figaro presentation, opera is a visual as well as a musical art, the scenery is important. This is supposed to be taking place in a castle in Spain, not around scaffolds erected for whatever purpose."