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|Dmitri Hvorostovsky||Count di Luna|
|Thomas Barnard||Old Gypsy|
|The Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House|
|Dante Ferretti||Set Decoration/Design|
|Anne Tilby||Costumes/Costume Designer|
Posted October 1, 2010
I heartily agree with the previous reviewer's statement that this is the best Tovatore DVD out there. The camera work is unobtrusive and well thought-out, and the stage direction of Elijah Moshinsky is extemely fluid and visually captivating, particularly in his use of warm and cool colors to symbolize the opposing groups of the opera--red for the passionate gypsies led by Manrico and blue for the cold discipline of the military captained by the Count di Luna. The special features really should set the standare for all opera DVDs with their revealing cast and crew interviews and historical information. Now to the performances: I purchased this DVD on the strength of Jose Cura's name and voice and I was not disappointed, learing that Dmitri Hvorostovsky was the Count was icing on the cake. Finally, a tenor who is as handsome as the character he plays should be! Cura cuts a dashing figure and athletic figure as the heroic gypsy, Manrico. The dark timbre of his voice is well-suited Verdi's most challenging tenor role. He is also quite the stage animal, unafraid to smoke, eat,drink sword-fight, kiss the leading lady and basically ACT! all while singing with much precision and power. The famous cabaletta, "Di quella pira" is transposed down a half-tone (not an uncommon practice for a tenor posessed of a weighty voice) for his dark instrument and the high B's ring with power and security. Hvorostovsky is every bit Cura's equal, both in vocal power and stage aplomb. His deep rich, voice is the ideal "Verdi Baritone", his top notes secure and unstrained, and his command of the lyric line of his aria "Il balen nel suo sorriso" is startling. The ladies of the show are no less talented that their male counterparts, particularly the glorious mezzo of Yvonne Naef as Azucena. Here is a singer with enough presence to sing "Stride la vampa" hardly moving a muscle, allowing her voice to show us jsut how haunted she is. The Leonora of Veronica Villarroel is much more a singer than an actor, but her voice is lovely and she tries very hard not to look like she's thinking about the notes and it is very clear she enjoys her time with Cura. The Ferrando of Tomas Tomasson is also quite powerful, rounding out the fantastic cast. This is one to own!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
I have seen every 'Tro' dvd on the market and think this is the best overall. It was filmed live at the Royal Opera House on May 3, 2002. The production was updated and had a feel of an 'action movie'. We cannot expect four best singers in the world in this production, but it has at least two: Ms. Yvonne Narf's Azucena and the best part of the dvd, Dmitri Hvorostovsky's Count di Luna. The Siberian baritone brings everything and more to this role. The singing is just magnificent and the acting is surprisingly good. His trade mark intensity mixing with elegance works magic in the role of di Luna. The quality of the dvd is excellent with a few extra features. The only negative thing is the production has some unnecessary touches.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.