By Alan Schuster
While the heavy rains on October 3rd made it hopeless to screen Verdi’s masterpiece that afternoon at the Center for the Arts, the rescheduling has yielded a bit of good news for opera fans. Since Il Trovatore requires a cast of four outstanding ‘Verdian voices’, here are some excerpts about that HD performance drawn from two prominent critics – Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal, and Anthony Tommasini, N.Y Times. [W for Heidi and T for Anthony].
W: “Soprano Anna Netrebko was flawless as the doomed heroine, Leonora, effortlessly traversing Verdi’s difficult terrain that ranges from the softly delicate to the powerfully passionate.” T: “Ms. Netrebko sounded wonderful, singing with plush, penetrating sound and affecting character.”
W: “Tenor Yonghoon Lee was an aggressive, impulsive and worthy Manrico…and a clear tenor voice that easily sliced through the loudest and thickest orchestral passages.” T: “The clarion-voiced South Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee…gave a fearless and stalwart performance.”
W: “Dolora Zajick as the crafty, revenge-minded gypsy Azucena…added both mystery and malice to her marvelous characterization.” T: “The powerhouse Dolora Zajick still owns this role!”
And finally, these praiseworthy remarks about the charismatic Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky who made known in late June that he had a brain tumor. After undergoing treatment for his ailment which reports suggest is non-cancerous, his return to the Met stage was a brave performance which the audience greatly appreciated. W: “Mr. Hvorostovsky showed up ready to play Saturday, playing his part to the hilt and singing with great authority and skill, almost as if nothing had happened this past summer.” T: “Hvorostovsky gave a gripping performance as Count di Luna. His resplendent voice, with its distinctive mellow character sounded not at all compromised. He sang with Verdian lyricism…and when called for, chilling intensity.”
Tickets for all opera presentations are now available. All seats are general admission. Adults $20; OLLI members $18; Students $10. Order online at www.centerforethearts.com or by calling 843-521-4145. Box office opens at noon. USCB Center for the Arts is located at 801 Carteret Street, Beaufort, South Carolina.