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12 February 2017

Anita Rachvelishvili takes the honours in Covent Garden's Il trovatore ( via

Amidst a generally good cast, one singer stood out: Anita Rachvelishvili as Azucena. She does extraordinary things with her voice: pianissimi that are hushed to a whisper still penetrate the whole hall, and then shift to terrifying high notes with complete control. Her “Stride la vampa” put goosebumps on my flesh, her duets with Gregory Kunde’s Manrico were filled with urgency and drama, the sweetness of “Ai nostri monti” was heartbreaking. It’s hard to believe that Rachvelishvili’s role debut was just a couple of months ago: here is an Azucena that can hold her own in any company.