All you need for Trovatore...
, 02 Jan 2011
This is what opera was like before anyone expected acting - you buy in your lead singers, put them on stage, and hope there may be some interaction. Production? Conspicuous by its absence. The chorus are as wooden as the set - stand, deliver, go down the pizzeria.
And yet... Verona got the best voices of the time (mid 80s) as could be found. Rosalind Plowright was the most beautiful Verdi soprano (vocally and physically) I ever saw on stage. By this stage, she seemed to be pushed to the very limits by the high notes, and you can almost see her wondering how much longer she is going to put herself through the difficulties of a role like this. Fiorenza Cossotto took the demands of these mezzo roles completely in her stride - her acting though is school of John Laurie (Frazer in Dad's Army) - eyes madly rolling for a couple of hours. Franco Bonisolli looks like the third prize in an Elvis look-alike competition, but he delivers - very loudly. Best of all is Giorgio Zancanaro - surely the finest Verdi baritone of recent years. At the end, when they all throw themselves at each other or at Death, you are experiencing operatic thrills at their most intoxicating. It has to be heard.
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