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Verdi - Il Trovatore / Cura, Hovorostovsky, Villarroel, Naef, Rizzi, Covent Garden (2009)

Jose Cura , Dmitri Hvorostovsky , Brian Large  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Verdi - Il Trovatore / Cura, Hovorostovsky, Villarroel, Naef, Rizzi, Covent Garden + Tchaikovsky - Eugene Onegin / Fleming, Vargas, Hvorostovsky, Gergiev, Carsen [Metropolitan Opera 2007] + Renee Fleming & Dmitri Hvorostovsky: A Musical Odyssey in St. Petersburg
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jose Cura, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Verónica Villarroel, Yvonne Naef
  • Directors: Brian Large
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KULTUR VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001RPZDY0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,411 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Verdi - Il Trovatore / Cura, Hovorostovsky, Villarroel, Naef, Rizzi, Covent Garden" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

José Cura, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Verónica Villarroel and Yvonne Naef lead the star cast of Verdi's blazingly passionate opera, in Elijah Moshinsky's new Royal Opera House production co-produced with Teatro Real Madrid, with sets by the noted film designer Dante Ferretti and costumes by Anne Tilby.

Sung in Italian, with English subtitles


Meet the cast and their characters
Designing Il Trovatore behind-the-scenes with the director and the costume and set designers
All about Schläger -preparations for the fight scenes

Manrico: José Cura
Count di Luna: Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Leonora: Verónica Villarroel
Azucena: Yvonne Naef
Ferrando: Tómas Tómasson
Ines: Gweneth-Ann Jeffers
Old gypsy: Thomas Barnard
Messenger: Douglas Telfer
Ruiz: Edgaras Montvidas
The Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Conductor Carlo Rizzi
Director: Elijah Moshinsky
Sets: Dante Ferretti
Costumes: Anne Tilby

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great voices, weird staging September 17, 2003
By Rosomax
Indeed, the principals are ideally cast here. Dmitri Hvorostovsky's suave, evil, yet somehow still-human Count nearly steals the show. He's far superior to all the Counts recorded. Jose Cura gives a believable performance as Manrico, even though he pays more attention to acting than to music. For instance, "Ah si, ben mio" is a bit choppy in sound, but acted out very well.
I really enjoyed Veronica Villaroel's Leonora. Like Cura, she put more emphasis on acting, but she managed some of the most difficult music with excellent artistry and skill. Brava!
Yvonne Naef looked and sang an ideal Azucena.
What kept distracting me was the staging. First of all, it looks like late 19th century Italy (vs. Austria), making Leonora's Tale D'Amor (a knight with an unmarked shield came, etc) along with many other story details quite improbable. Ferrando has a shaved head and looks too young to remember the events of the old days passed. Now, for the ugly:
1. When Azucena is captured, the "warriors" nearly rape (!) her onstage. This is inappropriate for Verdi's delicate, highly melodious music. Neither works the scene when Leonora and Manrico are in some sort of hay stack (okay, call me a purist but I thought it was low brow theater).
2. The strange sabre (schlager) dueling (the producers made a big fuss about it) does not add any value. The "fighters" look like made-up ballet dancers of some sort, they're wearing leather trappings more appropriate for a cult dance club they way Hollywood depicts them). Either include some real sabre or foil fencing or don't bother with "authentications" of this sort.
3. During the famous Anvil chorus, I surely did not see any anvils. (And Manrico smoked a cigar!)
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Count di Luna's Show April 21, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This performance was filmed on May 3, 2002 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. It was Mr. Hvorostovsky's first outing as Count di Luna. What a Count di Luna he was. His singing of di Luna made the usual baritone villain come alive with such passion.(Hint: the best sung cabaletta of the night was not "Di quella pira", but "Per me ora fatale". Masculinity personified.) Nowadays nobody can convey complicated emotions through singing more eloquently than Mr. Hvorostovsky. It was so evident in this performance. Just for this reason alone, this dvd is a must. But the dvd has much more to offer. There was a very well sung but rather restrained Azucena by Yvonne Naef. Her voice was strong and beautiful. Ms. Villarroel got points for her efforts. As for Mr. Cura, his vision for Manrico was "Latino macho man". Well, Mr. Cura succeeded just as that. He forgot that Manrico was also a poet. Even after countless viewings of the dvd, I still cannot control the urge to shake Leonora to her senses. Maestro Rizzi's tempi were on the fast side, so it made the opera sound more like a fast paced action "movie". Overall, the opera was very exciting to watch. (Expect some little surprises in the production.) I showed it to people who did not watch operas and the responses were very positive. The quality of the dvd is excellent. Both the sound and pictures are very clear. Of course, it comes with the extra features. Bravo to BBC-Opus Arte for an excellent job bringing this dvd to us. I hope someday someone will produce a dvd of "Eugene Onegin" with Mr. Hvorotovsky as the cad. Please do this soon before Mr. Hvorostovsky moves on to all those juicy Verdi roles.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing November 21, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As a long time Verdi fan, I looked forward to this DVD with great hopes. I was looking for a version that did not have either Pavarotti or Domingo in the title role and that utilized digital technology to provide good home viewed opera. Obviously, from the title line, my hopes were not realized.

First of all, this is a cut version of Verdi's work; it is incomplete. After all these years of including every note that the maestro composed, I had hoped that the older, truncated versions of the score had been trashed. Disappointment number one!

Second, Jose Cura in the title role of Manrico has trouble with vocal technique. He forces a "covered" or head tone far too low in the middle register, as low as e-flat in some instances. The tone produced is plain ugly. He can act, though.

Third, soprano Veronica Villarroel is just not a "Verdi soprano". Oh, she sings with some excellent sensitivity, once she gets warmed up, but she is no Leontyne Price by a long shot. Ms. Villarroel would do well enough in bel canto, but lacks the vocal depth to do justice to Verdi.

Fourth, the staging is horrible! The convent scene looks like an electrical power station; the firearms carried by Manrico's men include flintlock rifles and bolt action ones. The second scene contains the famous "Anvil Chorus", but there are no anvils, and no fire where there is supposed to be one during Azucena's aria, "Stride la vampa".

The plusses are there, but not enough to outweigh the negatives. Hvorostovsky is the best Count di Luna I have ever seen, and is vocally second only to the incomparable Leonard Warren. The conductor, chorus and orchestra all do very well, and the Digital technology is excellent throughout.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing -- Then And Now!
This is another re-release of an older recording (2003?). When I reviewed that version, I commented at length on horrible staging, an awful tenor, a barely adequate soprano and a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by John G. Gleeson Sr.
1.0 out of 5 stars Verdi El Trovatore will not play.
I hate it because I can not see it. Will not play on any of our 3 TV's
We have HD 1080 with Blue Ray. Paid $42.48.
Would like to exchange for a compatible one. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Gloria Nasser
5.0 out of 5 stars Verdi-Il Trovatore-DVD
One of my favorite Verdi operas, well played out by the chosen cast with related staging. The voices of Hovorostovsky and Villarroel are superb. Read more
Published on September 22, 2011 by Frank J. Waitrovich
5.0 out of 5 stars Just back from movie theater where I saw the last Met Production
I am just back from movie theater where I saw the last Met Production.
I am so glad, so glad I bought this DVD.
Wow - much better. New and bold, good singing. Read more
Published on June 6, 2011 by Marcelo B. De Freitas
4.0 out of 5 stars Great singing, but too DARK on the stage
Great, and actually outstanding singing, but unfortunately the too dark stage almost destroys the whole performance. Read more
Published on April 20, 2011 by PETER VADASZ
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
STOP! Thank goodness I caught you before you clicked on "Proceed to Checkout." It pains me to give this such a bad review as I love opera on Blu-ray and would like to do... Read more
Published on April 11, 2010 by L. Tolstoy
3.0 out of 5 stars Hvorostovsky's pyre.
Although the most impeccable singer in this production is Yvonne Naef, there is rarely a bad Azucena. Read more
Published on March 12, 2010 by Anna Shlimovich
4.0 out of 5 stars Verdi: Il Trovatore
The disc came in timing matter and in excellent condition. Thank you, seller, for the decent price.
Published on October 19, 2009 by Abram Dagovich
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Production - a "must have" for opera lovers
I've never been particularly enthused about this opera until now. It justfiably has the reputation of having the silliest and most unreal plot of all operas but when the singing... Read more
Published on August 2, 2009 by Mr. John A. Coulson
4.0 out of 5 stars I wouldn't hire Cura to call hogs!!! Hvor saves the show.
This has got to be the worst Manrico of all time. He doesn't sing. He swallows and gargles the notes. Horrid. More keys than a cheap motel. Read more
Published on July 30, 2009 by Operafilly
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