From: Thursday, 7th April 2011
To: Saturday, 9 April 2011
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Blood brothers, separated at birth, become deadly rivals in love and in war. A mother, burnt at the stake for bewitching a child, is avenged by her gypsy daughter. A beautiful aristocrat sacrifices her honour to save the man she loves. The hot Spanish passions of these interwoven stories are distilled by Verdi into a score which for sheer tunefulness and vocal glory has no equal in his entire output. The immortal love songs of the principal characters contrast with the Anvil Chorus, the Soldiers Chorus and the matchless tension of the Miserere to create the essence of Italian opera.
Karen Bussell - 7 April 2011
VERDI’s notoriously complicated and bloody Il trovatore is reduced to the bare minimum in Peter Watson’s staging with the voices having all the work to do on a stark set.
And the WNO does not disappoint.
Celebrated Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones sings Manrico (the eponymous troubadour) beautifully with soaring duets with love interest Leonora (soprano Katia Pellegrino whose expressive arms detract at times); and baritone David Kempster impresses (after a breathy start) as the villain of the piece Count di Luna.
Tim Hatley’s set of burnished copper is towering and foreboding. Several curved pieces and huge pillars are formed and reformed (in overlong pauses between scenes) to become a convent, gypsy and army camp, prison and fort.
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