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  • Your Reaction: What did you think of Verdi's Il trovatore live in cinemas 2017?

Your Reaction: What did you think of Verdi's Il trovatore live in cinemas 2017?

The audience reactions to the first revival of David Bösch’s production for The Royal Opera, broadcast to cinemas around the world.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

31 January 2017 at 10.28pm | 30 Comments

What did you think of Il trovatore live in cinemas?
Let us know via the comments below.

If you experienced technical issues during this live cinema relay, please email details to

Il trovatore runs until 9 February 2017. Tickets are still available.

The next Royal Opera House live cinema relay of 2016/17 will be The Royal Ballet's Woolf Works on 8 February 2017. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

31 January 2017 at 10.28pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by David Bosch, cinema, Il trovatore, Production, your reaction

This article has 30 comments

  1. Ulrike responded on 31 January 2017 at 11:12pm Reply

    Seen in Germany! Fantastic!

  2. Renata Iorio responded on 31 January 2017 at 11:21pm Reply

    Adoro questa iniziativa è non riesco a capire perché a Roma sia poco pubblicizzata. Io sono alla continua ricerca e fino a ieri sera per esempio al cinema Giulio Cesare ancora non vendevano i biglietti perché non sapevano se fosse stata trasmessa. Peccato che eravamo solo una trentina di persone. Sono state tre ore fantastiche. Cantanti di altissimo livello. Bravissima Lanna e tutti. Gli italiani dovrebbero prendere esempio dalla dizione perfetta. Direttore d'orchestra ha condotto in modo ineccepibile e non mi è dispiaciuta la nuova produzione di Bosch. Insomma sempre delle serate emozionanti

  3. Tina Hunt responded on 1 February 2017 at 12:01am Reply

    Watched this at the Norbury Cinema in Droitwich tonight. Great little place! Not a very big crowd but it was obvious that we were with others who enjoyed it tremendously. Such emotion and talent! Thoroughly enjoyed Il Travatore tonight. Will be going back for more live screenings!

  4. David L responded on 1 February 2017 at 6:47am Reply

    Simply dreadful evening with a ghastly production and sets that sucked all the romance out of Verdi's romantic opera. The pointless updating just magnified the absurdities of the plot. The ridiculous notion of having a professional army with tanks fighting circus performers. The costumes were non-existent it seemed with everyone turning up in what the wore yesterday. The singing was pretty good actually given the routine conducting and lack of life from the pit. Where was Pappano? But to have a Manrico who looked like his mother's father - the guy looked older than me and I'm a pensioner - that surely was the final torpedo in this sad production. Now can we have some producers who will stop giving us their barmy ideas and so as Verdi said?

    • Avrora D responded on 27 February 2017 at 9:20am

      Thank you for your comment and what you described, as I was afraid that it might be like that. I live in Bulgaria, so the live performance comes to us a little bit later, the weekend of the 5th of March. I saw Manrico and couldn't believe that they would have an elderly singer as Manrico, the costumes looked also dreadful and I cant' imagine that there would be any romance left in this truly magnificent opera in such performance! Really helpful comment!

  5. DOROTHY MERGA responded on 1 February 2017 at 11:25am Reply

    Why do we have to put up with this awful staging.Wonderful singers apart from the Tenor sorry he was not up to the task.

  6. Ian Scott responded on 1 February 2017 at 1:28pm Reply

    Excellent singing. Not too keen on the update but still very enjoyable.

  7. James Gordon responded on 1 February 2017 at 2:50pm Reply

    The singing is wonderful, especially from the women. If I had to pick one highlight, it would be Haroutounian’s D’amor sull’ali rosee. All the principals act well, in so far as these roles allow (the Count least, the gypsy most). They clearly have “got inside” the characters, each one trapped within him/herself, and sparks really fly in the two big duets (Azucena/Manrico and Count/Leonora). By the end of the evening I had almost suspended my disbelief.

    The production works well enough and is internally consistent, from the kitsch of the gypsy camp to the bleakness of – well, just about everywhere else. The costumes emphasise Leonora as the one oasis of purity and light in this dark world, although this is slightly undermined by a characterisation that presents her as slightly demented from the start.

    This cast would make a great audio recording. They would be fine in an old-fashioned production with “four fat folk along the footlights” (not that any of them is particularly fat). They would be fine in this production, seen live, at least from the back of the amphitheatre. But, as a group, and despite some fine acting, they are simply not credible in cinematic close-up as these characters in this particular set of tortured relationships. Manrico looks more like Azucena’s father than her son, the Count his younger brother. Improbably, Azucena alone appears sexually dangerous . At her first entrance she looks like Carmen in mourning weeds. Maybe one day she will cast off weeds and neurosis, seduce Ferrando and lead him and his militia off to a better life “là-bas, là-bas, dans la montagne”…

  8. Dorothy responded on 1 February 2017 at 3:01pm Reply

    I saw this production earlier at the ROH with a different cast and thought it was great but last night was better. I loved, loved the four main parts in particular the leading ladies. Azucena was hauntingly spellbinding both in voice and in her ability to act.
    I liked the cold monochrome set that contrasted with the fire theme.
    My only comment as others have said was Manrico's credibility as young man despite a wonderful performance.
    A fantastic evening!

  9. AndrewHJ responded on 1 February 2017 at 3:24pm Reply

    Thank you for the opportunity to see this production. I would not have paid the huge price of doing so live at the ROH but it was good to see it for a more reasonable price in our local cinema.
    Two key issues:
    1 In the intro chat, was it really necessary to give us clips of the show itself, thus spoiling the surprise and impact of the live performance which followed?
    2 Where are all our talented young singers? Why was the lead sung by a tired-sounding 50-60 year-old? Why were di Luna and Leonora sung by performers nearer 40 than 30. it destroyed any credibility in the passion of the young lovers!

  10. Martinella responded on 1 February 2017 at 4:05pm Reply

    Extraordinary! Everything.: the singers, the stage, the director, the choir and the presentation, the interviews!
    What a difference with the kitsch, nouveau riche and vulgar productions of Metropolitan Opera, New York!
    Great artistic director, grat Opera House director!

  11. P Mousse responded on 1 February 2017 at 8:46pm Reply

    Saw this at Huddersfield Odeon, UK. Sound cut out 5 or 6 times at critical moments. Disappointing in this respect.

    • Jimmy Chadda responded on 2 February 2017 at 10:37am

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and I'm sorry to hear you experienced sound cuts in your cinema. There were no general issues with the satellite feed on the night so we will investigate this with the venue.

      Best regards,
      ROH Cinema

  12. Annabel Charles responded on 1 February 2017 at 9:16pm Reply

    Absolutely loved this production. The staging worked for me, the singing was sublime - and yes, I was swept away by the whole thing. This opera is one marvellous piece of music after another.... I would rather see it live but for £15 it is miraculous to enjoy world class opera in your local cinema - and I find the accompanying interviews/commentary snippets of the show add to my enjoyment. A fantastic evening. We are so, so lucky.

  13. Victoria Granville responded on 1 February 2017 at 9:49pm Reply

    I was entranced; the production is genius.

  14. John Culatto responded on 1 February 2017 at 11:40pm Reply

    Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the singing, I found distasteful and offensive the Kingston University clip which seemed to be another advert for the lies of this hypocritical and corrupt world we live in where any chance that people who have never had an experience of God and heaven is used to again blacken the wonderful blue skies and dictate to the rest of us, from the vast experience of a student, that heaven is just an old wives tales. This may be the message of the almost permanent black or semi- black skies but the reality is far from it although I also had a very bad experience when I did the Ouija board at Kingston (then Art College) when indeed it seemed the skies turned black as I suffered from depressions and fears for fourteen years. However, in my search for God, and being waylaid by my own church, found a wonderful group of believers in Teddington who led me to know Christ in all His fullness. This experience changed the colour of the sky for me and even more so when a few years later a missionary prayed for me and took out a spirit of fear from me setting me free of those depressions, anxiety and fears as God told him what I had. Therefore, I can say with absolute certainty, that God exists, and loves us and JESUS is the only way to the Father and that just because someone has not had an experience of Him it does not mean that He does not exist! If you do not believe me, ask Him!

  15. Richard responded on 2 February 2017 at 2:17pm Reply

    What a wonderful performance by the witches daughter.

    il trovatore is as apt in these present times, demonstrating the madness that happens when leaders act in a selective or their own interests, instead of the people's they claim to represent.

  16. Shirley Fogarasy responded on 2 February 2017 at 3:09pm Reply

    How marvellous to be able to walk to my local cinema in Hexham to experience such a wonderful production. To enjoy such world class productions is a treat beyond value.
    (In this relay there were several minor blips with the sound but not too disturbing).

    • Jimmy Chadda responded on 2 February 2017 at 3:24pm

      Hi Shirley,

      I'm pleased to hear that you enjoyed the production of Il trovatore. Apologies for the sound blips, there were no general issues on the night, so we will investigate this with the cinema. Many thanks for letting us know.

      Best regards,
      ROH Cinema

  17. Len Cruickshank responded on 2 February 2017 at 4:30pm Reply

    Although not opera buffs, my wife and I found the production to be a wonderful night out, and thoroughly enjoyed the cinematic visual experience - far better than being in the stalls looking up at the surtitles. Congratulations to the ROH and production team for this initiative. It was just a pity that the Inverness Vue cinema had only about 20 of an audience.

  18. Kevin B responded on 2 February 2017 at 7:00pm Reply

    Having seen this production in the theatre, (twice), and now in the cinema I think it actually works better in the cinema. We see less of the childish nature of Bosch and Branwart's production and the drabness of the design is somewhat masked by the close-ups.

    However, I still can't forgive the production team for turning Verdi's brave gypsy warriors and swordsmiths in to a bad circus act that does a bit of metal-bashing on the side.

    So having said all that, I must add that the singers were excellent, even in the minor roles. It's important, for instance, that Ferrando wakes us all up with that thrilling 'Alerta!' at the start and Alexander Tsymbalyuk did the job perfectly.

    Vitaliy Bilyy made a suberb Count and Lianna Haroutounian was excellent as Leonora. Gregory Kunde sang the part of Manrico very well but I will echo what others here have said; he's a bit old for the part, especially in the cinema close-ups.

    However, the star of the show was definitely Anita Rachvelishvili. Her thrilling rendition of Asucena, especially vocally where she absolutely nailed 'Strida la vampa', was magnificent. Her performance alone will probably get me back to the Vue for Sunday's repeat showing.

  19. MARK ROCHESTER responded on 4 February 2017 at 1:28pm Reply

    Yes Anita Rachvelishvili was sublime.
    Very enjoyable production, I have only seen this opera live twice and this one knocked spots of them. And a relief after Norma.

  20. P. Chapman responded on 5 February 2017 at 5:16pm Reply

    Just saw Il Trovatore locally. Extremely disappointing, update awful. What on earth are beer cans and a mobile phone doing in a Verdi opera? Write a new opera if this is what you want, leave Verdi out of it.

  21. Barbara Bell responded on 6 February 2017 at 2:18pm Reply

    Having seen the Live in HD performance of Trovatore from the Met, I was appalled by the travesty staged at Covent Garden. The glory of Verdi's operas is not only in the music but should be visual as well. Otherwise one might as well listen to a CD.
    Why was the tenor an OAP when there are numerous young tenors who could have been given the part, and Azucena needed some wrinkles to be believable. It didn't make sense! Also the chorus looked like Dad's Army!

  22. Runner responded on 6 February 2017 at 2:59pm Reply

    Went to see it Friday, again what a disappointment! Only Acucena delivered a passable performance. The staging is as awful as recent Cosi. ROH has truly reached a provincial opera level.
    God help us!

  23. Lyn Bartlett responded on 7 February 2017 at 9:38am Reply

    Great disappointment as this was not shown in Grassington in the end - no Sattelite connection apparently, family had travelled miles to see it!

    • Jimmy Chadda responded on 7 February 2017 at 10:10am

      Hi Lyn,

      I'm so sorry to hear that the screening was cancelled. The satellite feed was working fine on the day so this was likely a local issue. Thank you for bringing it to our attention, we will work with the cinema in order to help resolve the issue.

      All best,

      ROH Cinema

  24. Steph responded on 7 February 2017 at 9:38pm Reply

    Some brilliant singing - notably Azucena (utterly excellent) and Ferrando (although far too young looking). Leonora was good (dodgy moments) and also Manrico especially in Acts 3 & 4 - although why was James May moonlighting as an opera singer? Surely he has enough to do with Top Gear. Baritone was underpowered and slightly coarse on the night. Did not admire Star Wars Liam Neeson effect of costume. Weird production (too many dead babies on caravan) but effective on screen where focus is more on singers than backdrop in any case - comments have been made about video back screens but we couldn't see those. Overall rather a lot of static hand twitching to show emotion but redeemed by quality of singing and in some cases acting.

  25. Aksel Demircibasiyan responded on 23 February 2017 at 4:42am Reply

    Went to see Il Trovatore on Sunday February 19th. Il Trovatore and Aida are my favoured operas. What a disappointment with the presentation of Il Trovatore by ROH. Ugly staging, meaningless decors, poor costumes. Singers were OK, I think I had better to listen to the CD. Credit goes to Azucena.

  26. R.H.W. Arguile responded on 19 March 2017 at 3:25pm Reply

    No doubt it is hard on singers who age that they can no longer get away with pretending to be 25 but the fact was that Manrico and Leonora kept making us work hard to suspend disbelief. The revealing nature of the close up, however, gives opportunities for young singers which is a plus. I had never seen the opera before but found its plot both classical and modern. The idea of killing the wrong baby may seem far-fetched unless you know what madness produces. I loved the singing.

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