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  Il trovatore Reviews
Il trovatore
Lyric Opera

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader- Recommended

"...Unfortunately, this otherwise traditional production, originally directed by Sir David McVicar and last seen at Lyric four years ago, moves the action up to the 19th century, losing the height-of-the-Inquisition context, when burning at the stake was a common public ritual. But Verdi's greatest-hits score (including the familiar and famously bare-chested "Anvil Chorus")ówhich has been enough to keep this warhorse on the stages of major opera companies ever since its debut in 1853óprevails. Among the mostly young cast successfully navigating demanding vocal roles, tenor Russell Thomas as the gypsy's supposed son, Manrico, is a standout. Soprano Tamara Wilson is the ingenue Leonora; mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is Azucena. Bass Roberto Tagliavini, as a soldier whose storytelling launches it all, makes an impressive Lyric debut."
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Deanna Isaacs



Chicago On the Aisle- Recommended

"...Vocally sound and musically thoughtful young talents filled out the cast. Chicago-based soprano Katherine Weber is an emerging artist who adds the title role of Iolanta to leading roles such as Violetta and Rosalinda on the regional circuit. She was believable and endearing as she awakened to her predicament, and to love. Baritone Christopher Magiera was hilarious as Robert, Iolantaís intended, who arrives profoundly distracted by the high state of sexual bliss he has been enjoying with Matilde, a name he keeps repeating as his tessitura rises."
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Nancy Malitz



Stage and Cinema- Highly Recommended

"...In sum, this is an excellent revival of an earlier production and it boasts a far superior cast of new and familiar faces. And Verdiís memorable and stirring score makes it one of the composerís best and beloved efforts. Stay tuned for his similarly-named La Traviata in February, but first Jules Massenetís take on the classic Cinderella story."
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Barnaby Hughes



Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...Giuseppe Verdiís most dramatic music sure could sell atmosphere. Thatís on full diabolical display in the production of Il Trovatore originally directed by Sir David McVicar, now back at the Lyric. With all new leads in the cast and Marco Armiliato conducting, the fast-paced, passionate music matches the Goya Dark Paintings-inspired design to create a world that shows the best of nineteenth century melodrama. The tale of persecution is sinister, itís exciting, and itís a bit ridiculous, but the singing actors sell every minute."
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Jacob Davis



Chicagoland Theater Reviews- Highly Recommended

"..."Il Trovatore" is the middle piece in Verdi's great trilogy bookended by "Rigoletto," seen last season, and "La Traviata", coming early in 2019. "Rigoletto" is the better opera book-wise, and it was sung magnificently, but the vocal strengths of "Il Trovatore" deserve an honorable place at the table. If "La Traviata" matches its two predecessors in musical excellence, then local opera lovers can consider themselves truly blessed. Singingwise, it doesn't get any better than this!"
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Dan Zeff



Chicagoland Musical Theatre- Highly Recommended

"...So, is it worth it? Yes, without hesitation. COTís Iolanta is a vital production ó it speaks to an ageless struggle between youth and their guardians; itís a blissful romance for the coming cold season; and to be given such care for its Chicago coming-out. And, for anyone who has had recent doubts about the vitality of opera, itís a pure tonic."
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Patrick OíBrien



Chicago Theater and Arts- Highly Recommended

"...This production is an opportunity to hear Soprano Tamara Wilson, making her Lyric debut as Leonora . Wilson lets the audience know right away that she was well chosen as the doomed heroine with her ďTacea la note placida, a beautiful cavatina with its high c, and the passionate ďDi tale amor che dirsiĒ aria made even more impressive by its trills."
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Jodie Jacobs



Picture This Post- Highly Recommended

"...Seamlessly weaving the audience into the change of place, the movement of the set enabled all to be transported from a barracks to a gypsy camp, to a convent and then to a prison. The motion also took place in characterization. The choice of a multiracial cast, especially for the Brothers di Luna, is quite effective."
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Joseph Anthony Rulli