I went back for a second performance of Il Trovatore Friday night and sat in the balcony. I'm pleased to report that Hvorostovsky was in much better voice this evening and really delivered. Radvanovsky was once again stellar - the control she has of her voice is something I'm not sure I've ever heard before. She's fantastic. Marco Berti also delivered another excellent performance and there seemed to be some small revisions to the final scene allowing Stephanie Blythe to deliver a bone-chilling ending.

Besides getting to hear Hvorostovsky on a good night, the other main pleasure to be had from a second viewing was seeing the stage from the balcony instead of the orchestra level. The set looks even better and more impressive from above. The staging for this production is truly great. There are three performances left, though Hvorostovsky will be replaced by Quinn Kelsey for the performances on 10/4 and 10/6, and Malgorzata Walewska will replace Blythe on 10/1 and 10/6. This Trovatore is worth seeing for Radvanovsky alone, but with the strong cast and great staging, it's really not to be missed.