Shows why my friends don't like opera
Mr James Cole | 09/30/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Poor Verdi- this is arguably his most exciting work, but you would never know it from this video, which should have been left in the vaults. The sound quality, staging, lighting, costumes, and sets are all awful. The orchestra is slow and wooden, stodgifying a remarkable score that should be full of inspiring tempo changes and dynamic shifts and instead leaving the principals stranded on stage, waiting for the instruments to make the key transitions. The staging is forced and awkward and the acting not believable. The chorus extras wander about in the dark, horribly dressed and without purpose. The Anvil Chorus is joyless and dark- I didn't even see any anvils! The singing is quite good, esp. by Sutherland (despite her lack of acting), but is hard to enjoy given the other detractions. Probably the best value here is for hardcore Sutherland fans."
Good for Joanie
Mr James Cole | London | 04/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The singing in this dvd is very good, I love Sutherland's Leonora and the Baritone is superb, singing I think the best every music written for that voice. The production is awful; it is dark and gloomy and must have been an absolute nightmare for the performers and I am surprised there are no shots of people falling over on the stage; best to buy; play and close your eyes; even at such a late stage; Sutherland's voice is incredible and this role in particular shows off her amazing vocal agility; beautiful voice and trill to perfection!"
Bel Canto Trovatore
R OMeara | Los Angeles, CA USA | 08/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Much produced by the Australian Opera Company leaves me dissatisfied. Whether a lack of regional talent or a generally mismanaged company, productions are often artistically and technically slight, considering this company's position in a rather large nation-state that provides support to the arts. This TROVATORE disappoints for similar reasons. Having said that, to hear Sutherland as Leonora, at this stage of her career, in a live performance, is another affirmation of her position as (arguably) the world's greatest singer and makes this DVD well worth owning. Only Ponselle and Milanov were able to bring the limpid dolcissima to the fragile passages that Sutherland delivers here brilliantly, and of course, her coloratura is unsurpassed. Price brought a special shimmer to the role, but for only ten years. In this performance, Dame Joan is on the edge of her 60th birthday, and manages not only master-class legato in "D'amor sull'ali rosee" but achieves thrilling high notes that were beyond the reach of all the role's earlier, notable interpreters. The orchestral reading could use a little more octane from Bonynge, but for those who insist upon blood and brimstone Verdi, they should remember that TROVATORE is not NABUCCO or I LOMBARDI. This is a dark tale of love unfulfilled shadowed with the implicit suffering induced at all levels from religious and ethnic intolerance."