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Giuseppe Verdi: Il trovatore
Marcelo Alvarez (Manrico), Teresa Romano (Leonora), Mzia Nioradze (Azucena), Claudio Sgura (Il conte di Luna), Deyan Vatchkov (Ferrando), Cristina Giannelli (Ines), Roberto Jachini Virgili (Ruiz), Enrico Rinaldo (An old gypsy), Seung Hwa Paek (A messenger)Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma, Martino Faggiani (Chorus Master), Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Parma, Yuri Temirkanov (Conductor), Lorenzo Mariani (Stage Director), William Orlandi (Set and Costume Designer), Christian Pinaud (Lighting Designer), Tiziano Mancini (Video Director)
Recorded live at the Teatro Regio di Parma, Parma, Italy (October 5 and 9, 2010) – 150’ (including bonus introduction)
C Major Entertainment # 723408 (distributed by Naxos of America) – Booklet in English, German, French and Italian – Subtitles available in Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Japanese

Shifting from Victor Hugo for his foundation of Rigoletto, Giuseppe Verdi turned his attention to Antonio Garcia Gutiérrez’s play El trovador for grounds of his next opera of the same name. Verdi was drawn to subjects rife in conflict, and this opera is no exception. Packed with energy and vibrant music, Il trovatore best epitomizes Verdi’s pinnacle of Romantic melodrama.

William Orlandi uses a gliding 15th century tapestry to mask/reveal scenery changes while adding minimal props for suggestive simplicity. Similarly, his costuming is wrapped inside a beautifully darkened palette (with exception of Leonora’s white satin dress parlaying purity) depicting period appropriate textures. Christian Pinaud’s lunar luminescence thoughtfully changes to coincide with the emotional drama at hand.

The demands Il trovatore places on the four principals is great. This cast delivers with acceptable passion and fury: Deyan Vatchkov, looking very much like Massenet’s Don Quixote, is a stalwart, soft soothed Ferrando. Claudio Sgura’s fervent Il conte di Luna reigns with boldness in an attempt to woo Leonora sung by dramatic soprano Teresa Romano despite some roughened edges. Completing the love triangle we find the marvels of Marcelo Álvarez as the protagonist Manrico, ringing out a grand “Di quella pira” as he sets forth to rescue Azucena, sung by Mzia Nioradze whose mezzo qualities make her a most suitable, melodramatic gypsy. Cristina Giannelli’s Ines releases appropriate confidante passiveness amidst a tad wavering timbre.

Tiziano Mancini places greater video artistry in Il trovatore in comparison to his other recordings. On balance, the techniques are pleasing which adds subtle variety.

Christie Grimstad




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