Verdi: Il Trovatore - King, Scotto, Verrett; Giovanetti. Paris, 1974

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A hearty Bravo is owed to the enterprising audience member responsible for the capture of this 1974 performance of Il Trovatore. While some bits of recitative and chorus music are missing (most obviously at the start of Act III), the performance, lead by Reynold Giovannetti, is a wired, bombastic and very exciting one. James King is perhaps not a natural Manrico, sounding more at home in the duet with Azucena than in his tender love scene, but the women opposite him are all but ideal. Renata Scotto is ravishing as Leonora, and her Act IV scena finds her in sumptuous voice and with impeccable dramatic intent. Shirley Verrett’s Azucena, caught just before the start of her forays into soprano rep, shows why her move into higher territory shocked so many: her chest voice is positively cavernous, and incredibly creepy. Matteo Managuerra’s underrated baritone gets a terrific showcase, providing a strong legato in “Il balen”.

OD 11231-2

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