A Rather Modest Trovatore Takes the Stage in Oviedo

SpainSpain Verdi, Il trovatore: Ópera de Oviedo Chorus, Oviedo Filarmonía Orchestra / Ramón Tébar (conductor), Teatro Campoamor, Oviedo, 5.10.2017. (JMI)

Il trovatore (c) Ópera de Oviedo


Manrico – Aquiles Machado
Leonora – Julianna Di Giacomo
Azucena – Luciana D’Intino
Conte di Luna – Simone Piazzola
Ferrando – Dario Russo
Ines – María José Suárez
Ruiz – Jorge Rodríguez-Norton

Coproduction of Barcelona’s Liceu and Ópera de Oviedo

Director – Joan Anton Rechi
Costumes – Mercè Paloma
Lighting – Albert Faura
Videos – Sergio Gracia

Il trovatore, part of Verdi’s so-called Popular Trilogy is one of the most frequently performed operas in the repertoire. This Oviedo staging, a co-production with the Liceu, had its premiere in Barcelona last July. I wrote about it at the time, and my opinion has not changed:  review

Ramon Tébar’s conducting was effective overall, although there was on occasion an excess of volume, especially in the first part of the opera. His reading of Act III was the best part of the opera. The Filarmonía did not give a strong performance, but the chorus, currently under the direction of Elena Mitrevska, did well.

The presence of Aquiles Machado in the role of Manrico was surprising, since his voice does not seem to me suited to the character. He sang the aria ‘Ah sì, ben mio, coll’essere’ with gusto, but had problems in the always much-expected ‘Di quella pira’: his high notes now have a very wide vibrato. Apart from that, only a single verse of the cabaletta was done. Machado has not lost the beauty of his timbre in the middle range nor his good taste singing, but the part demands more.

Soprano Julianna Di Giacomo as Leonora was not brilliant either – I had expected more from her. Her middle range is ample and nicely handled, although not particularly attractive, but her voice is rather tight at the top.

Veteran mezzo-soprano Luciana D’Intino did well in the part of Azucena, although her voice gives signs of aging. What works best now are her low notes, but she mastered the role and is a good actress.

Count Luna was sung by Simone Piazzola whose voice is now reduced in size although the timbre is attractive. Dario Russo was rather monotonous and rough in the part of Ferrando.

As far as the secondary characters are concerned, María José Suárez did well as Ines and Jorge Rodríguez-Norton was correct as Ruiz.

Jose M. Irurzun

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