20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
A Pretty Mixed Bag, 27 Dec. 2004
I have to say that Il Trovatore is one of my favourite Verdi Opera's, with a great mix of drama and suspense, twinned with the most unlikely of story lines! There are ample opportunities for the musicians and artists to shine, and some did in this production!
In particular, Dolora Zajick, much the best actor on the stage, gave a passionate and inspired performance as Azucena. She has a wonderfully resilient voice, and carried the role off superbly. I also enjoyed Sherrill Milnes' performance as the "evil" Count Luna. Milnes wouldn't be out of place as the baddy in one of those silent films twiddling his moustach! I found his powerful Baritone extremely convincing.
Pavarotti's voice is as agreeable as ever, but as usual his acting lets the overall performance down. He spends most of his time rooted to the spot with a perplexed look on his face! Mind you, I suppose if you've escaped death by fire at the hands of your mad gypsy mother at the age of 1, you'd look worried too!
Jeffrey Wells got better as he warmed up, but Eva Marton seemed totally out of place here with her "the louder you sing the better" approach. She was decidly flat in places, and didn't even attempt to sing some of the high notes, most noticeably at the end of act 1! The D'amour sull'ali rosee in scene 1 of act 4 is one of the most lovely solo's written by Verdi, however I'm afraid it was somewhat "brutalised" by Eva here, more subtley needed!
The sets were quite atmospheric, although everything obviously happened at night as it was so dark throughout! The Met orchestra were well controlled as usual by James Levine, although it was difficult to hear the singers at times - you often find this with some of Verdi's more dramtic moments!