Magazine article Opera Canada

Norfolk

Magazine article Opera Canada

Norfolk

Article excerpt

Virginia Opera opened its 2008/09 season Oct. 5 with a fiery production of Il trovatore, the concluding performance of which marked Artistic Director and conductor Peter Mark's 700th performance and 100th production with the company.

The esteemed Lillian Groag's fine vision again brought insight and momentum to the dark tale. Her astute eye focused intently on the dramatic elements of the story, clearly merging the musical impact with the libretto's dramatic content. The result of the Harrison Opera House performance was effective and theatrical.

The visuals were enhanced by Richard Winkler's superb lighting and Michaee Ganio's somewhat stylized scenic design. These physical trappings clearly contributed to the impact this oft-told tale. Those who have seen the opera more than a few times and who tended to approach this production with an "Oh no, not another Trovatore" attitude were the losers, inasmuch as this production was decidedly a winner.

Leading the way to victory was Canadian-Finnish soprano Eilana Lappalainen as Leonora. While she initially seemed a bit uncomfortable with the role in Act I, seemingly singing "Tacea la notte placida" and "Di tale amor" with more remorse than rapture, her acting and singing fell into synch for the remainder of the work with stellar results. Her ability to reflect Leonora's emotional distress merged superbly with the vocal demands and resulted in a truly engaging performance.

As Manrico, Gustavo Lopez Manzitti validated his reputation as leading tenor for Argentina's Teatro Colon. …

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