For years this performance lay in the vaults- never available as a full recording or movie commercially. Happily for us, with opera companies now going through their archives to advantage themselves utilising the new technologies and capitalising on past gems- this is one of many that has at last broken through into daylight.
With Trovatore it is always the music- because the story is almost too silly for words let alone anything else.. but what music it is!
This version boasts a top cast in all principal roles. There is a story that Leontyne Price was going to front this cast put together by the Vienna State Opera- as per the now famous recording (available on CD) - however, when time to film happened, Raina Kabiavanska capably stepped in to replace a no longer available Miss Price.
With a dashing young Placido Domingo covering our forever dashing in and dashing out, Manrico - and the great Fiorenza Cossotto doing her celebrated Azucena - this powerful cast is completed with Piero Cappuccilli playing the evil Count de Luna.
As usual Herbert Von Karajan in the pit is as solid and authoritative as ever and his Verdi tempi are always spot on. He also doubled as Stage Director so as you'd expect the direction is adequate and comfortably workable to allow this performance to be filmed- and a filmed performance it is- straight and plain without too many fancy camera tricks or close in face shots - but it is safe and it works.
The sound is very good considering the age of this performance and as it is in every sense an opera performed in the grand "Italian" tradition by some of the all- time greats, it is one DVD that deserves a place in any collection.
You can see some wonderful clilps from this performance in our section Opera Performances.