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Featuring world-renowned tenor Luciano Pavarotti, this release from Universal Classics presents a 1988 performance of Il Travatore at The Metropolitan Opera. Performed in the original Italian, the opera by Giuseppe Verdi includes music by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra under the direction of conductor James Levine.
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I have 20 opera DVD titles and this is my favorite. The singing, drama and acting are great. This video really captures the magic of the show. The camera work is par excellence. The camera just seems to be right where it should be all the time. I highly recommend this gem.
Pavarotti - the best at his best. Milnes...dominates the stage with his presence and voice - AS USUAL. Eva Marton - a valiant effort for a Wagnerian soprano. Wisely eliminates all the coloratura work. But Dolora Zajick as Azucena STEALS the whole opera. Something nearly impossible with the two greats, Pavarotti and Milnes, but BRAVA Dolora.
This video was the first Il Trovatore I ever saw, and I think it was great. As Manrico, Luciano Pavarotti was past his prime, but still was excellent. His 'Di quella pira' was great. His only flaw, as usual, was his acting. Eva Marton starts off slightly shakey, but improves in each scene. Dolora Zajick is one of the video's best performers. She really brings the role of Azucena to life. The star of the video was Sherrill Milnes as Conte di Luna. He has some cracks, but that is expected since he has had past vocal problems. He was the best actor in the video, with Zajick close behind. His 'Il balen' was outstanding. The supporting characters were great as well. Jeffery Wells was a grear Ferrando, Loretta Di Franco was good as Inez. The choruses, espically 'The Anvil Chorus' were also great. The flaws are few but noticable: Pavarotti's bad acting, the cuts from the orginal score, and the dark stage. Overall, it is a great video, led by the great maestro James Levine.