3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Il Trovatore, Verdi,
This review is from: Verdi: Il Trovatore [DVD] [NTSC]  (DVD)
Verdi's tragic opera, Il Trovatore, opens with Ferrando, a captain who is telling his troops a terrible tale from 15 years ago. A old gypsy woman was accused of cursing the Count De Luna's (Sherrill Milnes) baby brother,for which she was burnt at the stake. The baby's disappearance, followed by an infants skeleton in the ashes of the stake, comes to the conclusion that her daughter, who was at her mothers execution, had thrown him into the flames as an act of vengence for her mother.
The warrior Manrico (Luciano Pavarotti), is the adopted son of the gypsy, Azucena (Dolora Zajick). She tells him her version of the same events from 15 years ago. She tells him that she kept the baby and brought him up as her own. From this he learns that he is the brother of his sworn enemy The Count De Luna is madly in love with Leonora (Eva Marton), who is the lover of Manrico. De Luna's mad jelousy ends the opera in tragedy.
Sherrill Milnes was wonderful, his voice has a rare kind of beauty that is not usually heard in Baritones. Although he is the villain of the opera, his aria's are beautifully written, making his performance spellbinding. Luciano Pavarotti was vocally excellent as Manrico and although his acting is quite weak, he makes up for it with the singing, as all ways.
Dolora Zajick, in my opinon, gave the best performance. Her powerful mezzo voice was rich and exquisite. The duet with Pavarotti, "Ai nostri monti ritorneremo" was heart breaking, their voices beautifully matched.
Eva Marton was over the top, her singing was to loud and overly dramatic. Although Verdi's music is dramatic, she went across the limit, sounding strained. Her performance of "D'amor sull'ali rosee", was a significant improvement compared to the rest of her performance, but still sounding too forceful.
Anyone who is familiar with Verdi, knows that the music is going to be incredibly exciting and Il Trovatore is no exception. The brilliant composition, from the start to it's dramatic finish, with a mixture of explosive power and beauty, makes this opera a masterpiece.
James Levine conducts a marvelous orchestra, wonderfully interpreting Verdi's fantastic music. Eva Marton spoiled the performance, but it was saved by the rest of the cast who were all superb, making this, not one of the best, but still a good production from the MET.