12 May 2009 | TheLittleSongbird
Complicated opera turned into a dream of a production!
I am 17, and I adore opera. My godparents, who are both singers, like me, keep showing me old opera videos, and I watched this, and was stunned by the darkness and beauty of it.You can't do better than these three stars, Domingo, Cossotto, and Kabaivanska, in this sort of opera. The opera is very complicated, but the music by Verdi is deliciously dark and sometimes haunting. For instance the tenor aria is lovely though difficult. Usually I don't like the Anvil Chorus, but I am slowly warming to it, after how well it was performed here. My personal favourite is the haunting and heart-rending Miserere, the melody(in A flat minor, a truly difficult key to play in, as it is in 7 flats) is enough to bury your head into your hands and start sobbing. Now for the performances. Placido Domingo was brilliant as Manrico, with his charisma and commanding stage presence as well as that magnificent voice of his. Raina Kabaivanska has done a number of truly excellent performances, like in Pagliacci and Tosca, but this deserves to be up there as one of her finest. Fiorenza Cossotto, a highly underrated and talented mezzo-soprano is a joy to behold as Azucena. Piero Cappuccili is a name I am not familiar with, but he was very menacing as Count Di Luna. Herbert Von Karajan conducts with his usual artistic flair, this people was a truly excellent conductor, one of the best of the twentieth century, people consider him to be. All in all, a gem of an production doing justice to a truly complicated but magnificent opera. 10/10 Bethany Cox.