Il Trovatore, Royal Opera, April 2009Posted on 9 April 2009
This was a terrific performance, with Sondra Radvanovsky and Roberto Alagna in superb voice as Leonora and Manrico. They could not have been better in this dress rehearsal for a new run of Trovatore, performed in a co-production with the Teatro Real in Madrid by Elijah Moshinsky, with good set designs by Dante Ferretti, costumes by Anne Tilby, and excellent fight sequences by William Hobbs. The orchestra played beautifully under the direction of Carlo Rizzi, and the supporting cast all sang well. Dmitri Hvorostovsky brought a sensitivity to the Count di Luna making him a slightly more sympathetic character than is sometimes the case. This fitted in well with the production, because at the end he stabs Manrico on stage and, told that he’s just killed his brother, holds him in his arms as he dies. Manrico’s surrogate mother, the gypsy Azucena, was well sung by Malgorzata Walewska, making her debut at Covent Garden, and Ferrando was Mikhail Petrenko. Altogether the cast worked well together, and the staging was very effective indeed, but what really put this into the stratosphere was Roberto Alagna as the troubadour Manrico, and Sondra Radvanovsky, whom I also saw as a superb Leonora in Chicago in November 2006.