A truly wonderful rendition of Verdi's tragic opera.
This presentation is from the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden with conductor Carlo Rizzi and is performed before a live audience. The stars of this opera are Jose Cura (Manrico), Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Count di Luna), Yvonne Naef (Azucena) and Veronica Villarroel (Leonora).
The casting superb; the acting is committed and as passionate as anyone could wish for in this dramatic work by Verdi. The voice qualities are superior for all the principals with the characters of Hvorostovsky and Villarroel leading the way.
The loss of one star (really 1/2 star if it was available) in my rating was as a result of a few things that niggled me during the performance ... for instance
-The sets, although well done, (and undoubtedly a lot of time and effort went into their construction) were cold and grim in their appearance: then add to this, the effect of the darkness of nighttime scenes and you had an opera where it seemed impossible to find a ray of brightness throughout the entire work.
-The only subtitled language on the DVD is English. It would have been nice to at least to have the option of following the opera in Italian.
-And finally (and a really picky point here) but one I feel obliged to mention because once I noticed this, I just could not get the idea out of my mind: that being, the officers costume worn by Count di Luna reminded me of something that would be seen on the doorman of a fancy New York hotel. I'm sorry, but I just had to get that out.
All in all a solid Il Trovatore. To me, there were a few minor distractions, but the great acting and singing would allow me to highly recommend this work.