I bought this just to give Jose Cura a chance as Manrico. I am afraid he disappointed me. He was too much as a brute, in addition to the wobbly singing. Dmitri Hvorostovsky's Count on the other hand is wonderful from start to finish. His acting as well as his singing is exemplary. The only thing that was intrusive was the sword fighting with Cura. It intruded much too much on the singing.
Veronica Villaroel's Leonora too was very good. Her acting and singing were blended very nicely. Yvonne Naef's Azucena was also good, but I thought she lacked the bite of Simionato's or Cossotto's interpretation of the vengeful gypsy.
I would have to say that Dmitri Hvorostovsky was the star here. This seemed for me to be a Trovatore with the Trovatore. Cura's wobbly voice was too much of a instrution for me enjoy the opera fully. The fact that he acted and sang like a brute and not like a passionate poet, as I see Manrico, may be the fault of the director of the production. The production was OK, but I'd would much prefer a traditional setting for this opera. But on the other hand were the sets and costumes consistant and better than other production of opera nowadays.
Carlo Rizzi's conducting was crisp and exciting. Overall is this performance good, if you can accept Manrico to be a wobbly brute. The picture on this DVD is very good with it's 16:9 image. The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound too is good, but it would be even better if the producers of the DVD would do the same as DG and added a DTS track. But it is very good nonetheless.