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And does the world need another Il Trovatore? Maybe not, but Le Trouvère is an infinitely rarer beast, and this new DVD, filmed in Parma last year, is worth a watch. Verdi prepared a new version of Trovatore for Paris in 1857, so we discover not just a French libretto but several changes in the music: arias sometimes don’t quite go as you expect, there is a long ballet in Act III and the final scene is extended. The ballet music is graceful, and the finale will divide opinion but is fascinating to hear. Robert Wilson’s production might put some off, but on its own terms it is very slick. As ever, he uses lighting, stasis and monochrome to create a stylized and mysterious world where emotions are muted and the music is at the fore. It works surprisingly well with this story, and it certainly stops the wilder excesses of operatic over-acting. Roberto Abbado conducts an equally taut reading. Giuseppe Gipali is an excellent Manrique, and Roberta Mantegna an accurate if straight-toned Léonore. Nino Surguladze is a juicy Azucena and Franco Vassallo a stentorian Comte.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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