“Il Trovatore” at Royal Opera House Muscat

The Ravenna Festival, the beloved cultural destination for opera aficionados, delivers the regional debut of this new, modern production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore. Directed by Cristina Mazzavillani Muti and conducted by Nicola Paszkowski, this high-tech, multi-media production features massive projected images that create a dynamic, mysterious and truly modern atmosphere. Accompanied by the Orchestra Giovanile “Luigi Cherubini” and the Coro del Teatro Comunile di Piacenza.” (description from Royal Opera House Muscat’s website)

Projected Images:  Someone I was speaking with during the 20 minute intermission joked that they must have saved a bundle on props by using the projected images.  This opera was unlike Carmen (the only other opera I’ve seen so far) but it was no less grand because of projected screens.  It’s hard to put into words just how incredibly artistic it was to see these images up on screen with a soft light on a singer behind it as they sang in Italian.  It was interesting to see images of petroleum drilling rigs during some scenes and I wonder if this was done specifically for the opera house in Muscat.  There was a silent chuckle among the audience as the images of oil rigs went up as if we were part of some inside joke.  🙂 

What Voices!  I was impressed enough by the French voices during Carmen, but the Italian voices I heard tonight were even more spectacular.

“Pre-Performance Talks”:  One thing that was talked about a lot tonight before the show and during the intermission was the “pre-performance show” at 5:30pm.  Some (not me!) were sent emails inviting them to attend an informational session for 30 minutes (and another at 6pm in Arabic) to let people know about the opera.  Any of you attending the 2nd and final showing of Il Trovatore in Muscat this season on March 3rd may want to call the Opera House to find out more.

Il Trovatore is a dark opera that started with a murder and ended with a murder.  I’ll write more about it and some fascinating lines I heard and a few thoughts on them tomorrow if I get a chance.  The standing ovation was long and well-deserved! BRAVO!

5 responses to ““Il Trovatore” at Royal Opera House Muscat

  1. I look forward to tonight’s show, will share my “expert Italian opinion” afterwards 🙂

  2. Alessandra,
    Still waiting for your expert Italian opinion! 😉

  3. Aha! I see you’re added your detailed review in Italian on your website. I wonder if you could sum up your thoughts here if you ever come across this comment…

  4. Sorry Andy, I was carried away by my extensive review in Italian and forgot to come back here. In summary, I was not particularly impressed. I am quite “traditional” and like a proper set (think of Turandot) therefore I was not too happy with the super-modern-multi-media-powerpoint-presentation thing. Furthermore Trovatore is not an “easy” opera. There are not many famous arias and the choice of organising the whole thing in two parts only made it quite tiring, especially as I was coming straight from work and had no dinner (don’t get me started with my complaints about the shows starting at 7 pm). Re singers, in my opinion the best one was Azucena. I found Manrico (Trovatore) and Leonora a bit weak. My two cents: best operas seen so far at ROH are 1. Turandot 2. Rigoletto 3. Carmen 4. Trovatore. Ciao

  5. alessandra,
    Thanks for your sharing your opinion! It’s nice to know what someone who actually understands Italian thought of this opera. We also felt that the parts were too long and we noticed a few people nodding off. (1 hour 10 minutes for the 1st half and 1 hour 5 minutes for the 2nd half!)

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