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Verdi: Il Trovatore -- Royal Opera House [DVD] [2010]

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Jose Cura, Royal Opera House Orchestra, Dmitri Hvorostovsky
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Sept. 2002
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006L3WU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,482 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

DVD Special Features:
Meet the cast and their characters
Designing Il trovatore - behind-the-scenes with the director and the costume and set designers
Illustrated synopsis
Illustrated booklet in English, French and German with biographies and background information
All about Schlager – preparations for the fight scenes


Elijah Moshinsky's production is surely as lively and moving as Verdi's intricate masterpiece deserves. Jose Cura sizzles. Dimitri Hvorostovsky is everything one could want to see and hear in a Verdi baritone. This new Trovatore DVD is a reminder that not every golden age happened long ago. --San Francisco Chronicle --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Curious trend this, whereby italian operas in major centres are now commonly cast without a single italian singer, at least in the main roles. Whether that obeys to an acute scarcity of competent, world-class Italian singers remains to be seen, maybe globalisation arrived to the arts with its full impact. Any way, this release is typical of its source, very well produced and with interesting and pertinent supplementary material, a feature other publishers ought to imitate.
The end result is uneven, though, in spite of the stunning Moshinsky production for The Royal Opera, a significant improvement over his previous Australian effort which has been variously broadcast over world television and seen in many countries. The main problem lies with Cura's Manrico, caught here in a problematic evening none the less the loud cheering and applause at the end courtain calls; visually he certainly looks the part. I can't say whether he's going through recurrent vocal problems or if this was an isolated incident, but what we have here is a very wobbly vocal production that to me marred an otherwise wonderful night at the opera (London, 3rd May 2002), where with "tricks of the trade" Cura tried, sometimes more successfully than others, to conceal the fact that his vocal instrument was in substandard condition; alarm lights up for the listener from the very "Deserto sulla terra" moment. Top honours are shared by Hvorostovsky and Naef, in their respective roles of the Count and Azucena.
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I would have served my own interests best if I had watched the documentary first for much valuable insight into this 2002 production from Covent Garden of this Verdi favourite is given. There are valuable contributions from conductor, director, costume designer and fight arranger as well as those of Jose Cura, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Yvonne Nael although those of Veronica Villarroel border on the silly. The documentary does give pertinent details of the production team's approach to both staging and character interpretation. The decision was made to set the production in the 1860s with a bow to Garibaldi and Italian reunification and here both sets and costumes (including red shirts for the gypsies) complement the action. There are a number of introductions that include the master stroke of having the Count di Luna actually execute Manrico; an action that heightens the final dramatic moments of the production. Others, which include far too explicit embraces between the lovers, are of more questionable merit. Most controversal of all is the introductory chorus of part III, designed as a homage to Schlager duelling, which ends with the rape of Azucena.

It is a marketing misfortune that Jose Cura's fine performance as Alfredo in La Traviata in Paris is presently unavailable on DVD for it is a better monument to the tenor's talents. As Manrico the singer has some very good moments but his appearance complete with an abundance of facial hair, red shirt, cigar and wrist bands does detract from performance appreciation.
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What a refreshing performance of an old war horse with insight and flare. There needs to be a good balance between both leading male characters in this opera for it to have any credence. After all , by blood they are brothers although as different as chalk and cheese so therefore Hvorostovsky gives a perfect foil to Cura in the title role with both showing equal macho bravado. The female characters are very good also although Villaroel looks a little past the young beauty stage and not showing a great deal of difference from Naef (Azucena)in stage years. Still both have excellent singing abilities and make the quartet of characters well sung and believable. I particularly loved the setting With its artilery and machine atmosphere. Its a shame that those big guns actually have no part in the opera. One aspect that I particularly liked was the fact that in this production Di Luna actually dispatched Manrico himself with a pistol in the final moments adding to the final outcome where he realises he has killed the long lost brother whom he had searched for for so long.The period also did nothing to deflect the story. If anything, in my oppinion, it seems to work better in this period with a little less swahbuckling and a hint of nineteenth century pomp and courtesy. All in all I can recommend this DVD filled with so many operatic ikons to all and sundry.
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Format: DVD
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.
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