Verdi Opera Festival - Il Trovatore

Millennium Halls, St Barnabas Church, W5 1QG, Ealing, W5 1QG
Fri 2nd August 2019
Herbert von Karajan conducts  'Il Trovatore' from 1978. Plácido Domingo stars with Piero Cappuccilli & Raina Kabaivanska. The Orchestra and Chorus of the Vienna State Opera provide the accompaniment.

The opera is very complicated, but the music by Verdi is deliciously dark and sometimes haunting. For instance, the tenor aria is lovely though difficult. Usually, I don't like the Anvil Chorus, but I am slowly warming to it, after how well it was performed here. My personal favourite is the haunting and heart-rending Miserere, the melody(in A flat minor, a truly difficult key to play in, as it is in 7 flats) is enough to bury your head into your hands and start sobbing. Now for the performances. Placido Domingo is brilliant as Manrico, with his charisma and commanding stage presence as well as that magnificent voice of his. Raina Kabaivanska has done a number of truly excellent performances, like in Pagliacci and Tosca, but this deserves to be up there as one of her finest. Fiorenza Cossotto, a highly underrated and talented mezzo-soprano is a joy to behold as Azucena. Piero Cappuccili is a name I am not familiar with, but he was very menacing as Count Di Luna. Herbert Von Karajan conducts with his usual artistic flair, a truly excellent conductor, one of the best of the twentieth century. All in all, a gem of a production doing justice to a truly complicated but magnificent opera.
- Bethany Cox

Google map static shot of Millennium Halls, St Barnabas Church, W5 1QG, Ealing, W5 1QG
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