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Verdi - Il Trovatore / Joan Sutherland, Kenneth Collins, Australian Opera Chorus

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Two enemies, passionate and vengeful; an old gypsy woman with a mysterious bond to them both, and a passionate young woman who must either betray an all-consuming love or face death itself - these are the fiery elements that govern Verdi's unforgettable masterpiece of obsession, madness and retribution, Il Trovatore (1853).

The musical masterpiece is visually, dramatically and vocally stunning.
THE AUSTRALIAN

Joan Sutherland s handling of the demanding role of Leonora was an example of opera stagecraft and stunning vocal beauty.
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

The Australian Opera has assembled one of its best casts under the baton of Richard Bonynge.
THE LONDON TIMES

Featuring: Joan Sutherland, Kenneth Collins, Lauris Elms, Jonathan Summers, The Australian Opera Chorus, The Elizabethan Sydney Orchestra

Conductor: Richard Bonynge


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Kenneth Collins, Joan Sutherland
  • Directors: Elijah Moshinsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: KULTUR VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012EM5C4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,006 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I would give the main singers the following ratings:

Bonisolli - A++

Cossotto - A++

Zancanaro - A

Plowright - B

Bonisolli's singing is thrilling - his 'Pira' is so perfect, you could die for it - the audience loves it, so they go through it a second time. Bonisolli looks quite handsome in this video. His acting is blustery and he basically stomps around the stage and makes sweeping motions with his arms - exactly what you expect from a great tenor - it works! Zancanaro does the same and it seems to work fine for him too.

Cossotto's singing is also terrific with her fierce chest notes. She holds one of those low notes a super long time and the audience is ecstatic. Her acting is a little over the top but it also works - she seems very committed to the role.

Zancanaro sings a tiny bit blustery. On a couple of the ensembles his lack of agility is quite noticeable, but all in all, he sings well. He has very pleasing, rock-solid high notes.

Plowright is way too pushed at the top. She also runs completely out of breath and gets behind during the Act 1 cabaletta. She makes me feel she was really always a mezzo, not a soprano. Her pleasant voice, pleasant stage presence, good acting, and good diction make up for some of the lack though.

The Ferrando was fine but nothing to write home about.

It's worth it for Bonisolli and Cossotto in my opinion.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
And has any NEW production's cast managed to outshine THIS one?
The answer is plainly 'no'!
The leads are simply mesmerising - even though you may claim that Bonisolli's Manrico isn't as 'gentle' and sophisticated as Placido Domingo's, still, his singing and his physic more than made up for any deficiency of his acting 'here'. He was plainly the best Manrico of his time, and he isn't surpassed in the present century.
I disagree adamantly that the rather unsophisticated direction in this production mars the visual image in any significant sense. After all, the performance was made in the Arena di Verona, not the Metropolitan or Covent Garden. It was a much more spacious venue, and the actions of the characters on stage could not be too fine-tuned. Sometimes, less action is better than more in such setting.
Zancanaro is a sterling Count di Luna, if not the vocally best. He acts with conviction, sings reasonably well though not in a truly distinguished voice, and he has the aristocratic demeanour for this role. Cossotto's Verdian mezzo-soprano fits the role of Azucena to a 'T'.
Bonisolli is simply the best Manrico since Corelli - he has the right timbre and looks, though I would not say that his performance here is his absolute best (even so, enough to oust others!).
Rosalind Plowright is by far the BEST Leonora I have ever seen - she looks the part, sings the part and owns the part. Her timbre is beautifully colored, with just the right amount of 'push' for a lyrical and tragic role as this. Her singing is very refined 99 per cent of the time in this performance. Her acting is also wonderful.
Sorry, even Karajan and Domingo's version did not manage to outshine THIS one, for the lack of an authentic Manrico.
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Format: DVD
It is a large-scale production.
The camera focuses at the beginning on the audiance to illustrate how many people are there.
It is open-air and still a very good sound quality.
Perhaps due to the singers.

The cast is very strong, in the virtuosic aspects:
Bonisolli does not posses the prettiest of voices, but his technique is electrifying, and I enjoyed his Manrico very much.
Zancanaro has a great voice; I have him also singing in Butterfly and Don Carlo and he is terrific.
Plowright sings and acts well, although she missed the high C at the end of act one (Bonisolli backed her up).

What is special about this dvd is having Fiorenza Cossotto.
Yes, there are many available recordings of her in that role, but this is her last (as far as I'm aware of).
She is still in full control of the range and dynamics - she hits the high B flat with no difficulty.
Plus, her experinece as Azucena is vast and it is shown.
Her quality of voice is less refined than it used to be - most apparent is the heavy vibrato, but that fits the part.
She has always sounded too high, and she still does, but at least she sounds old ;)

The conducting is no more than conventional, but it's not necessarily a bad thing.

Buy this for Cossotto's most mature Azucena!
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Sometimes an opera can be pure fun. Here's a great example.

This is an older recording so don't expect HD. It's a standard 4:3. The singing is good, not great. There are times the tempi seems rushed. Some of the staging is a bit confusing---the opening scene made me laugh out-loud as this giant....errr, battering ram...heads toward the audience and we're riding it in.

All that and 5 stars? You bet! Some operas are just sheer fun. The audience is exuberant and it's contagious. It reminds me of what it must have been like in the 1800s. People applaud and "bravo!" every aria. It's really fun.

Il Trovatore is a weird opera anyway but it's packed with great music. Enjoy this "NASCAR" version! Get in there and cheer, boo, hiss and BRAVO!

Get the DVD for the sheer pleasure of opera.
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