Magazine article Opera Canada

L'Opera De Quebec

Magazine article Opera Canada

L'Opera De Quebec

Article excerpt

L'Opera de Quebec staged its first Il trovatore Oct. 23. Verdi's sombre opera was directed by Valerie Kuinka, vigorously and authoritatively conducted by Daniel Lipton and performed by four first-rate singers in the leading roles.

The cast moved through sparse but suggestive scenery (for instance, the large cross symbolizing the convent in Act II), enhanced by handsome lighting and relevant visual effects, such as the flames climbing from the pyre and the projection of the Azucena's mother's eyes. Kuinka's direction emphasized Azucena's despair and obsession with her mother's tragic death and horrible crime, but while her reading of that neurotic character was accurate and her large ensembles interesting, a few highlights, such as Act I's dual, were less satisfying.

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Albeit at times excessive, Alina Gurina convincingly portrayed an Azucena whose dementia reached unfathomable depths. Her Act II confession, her cruel cross-examination in Act III (where she had to sing in a very uncomfortable position) and her final vengeance were chilling. …

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