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2012-6, Vienna, Don Carlo

Don Carlo

(4 act version in Italian)

Composer: Guiseppe Verdi
Librettist: Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle after Schiller’s drama, Cormon’s drama and Prescott’s history. Revised in 4 acts by du Locle, translated into Italian by Angelo Zanardini based on Achile de Lauziéres’ original version
Venue and Dates: Vienna Staatsoper
new production  – 16, 19, 22, 26 and 29 June 2012

Conductor: Franz Welser-Möst
Director:
Daniele Abbado
Performers:
Philipp II. : René Pape
Elisabeth von Valois, seine Gemahlin: Krassimira Stoyanova
Don Carlo: Ramón Vargas
Rodrigo, Marquis von Posa: Simon Keenlyside
Prinzessin Eboli: Luciana D`Intino
Monk (Carlo V): Dan Paul Dumitrescu
Tebaldo: Ileana Tonca
Voice from heaven: Valentina Nafornità

Photo Gallery

 

Sound bites

translations by Petra Habeth

Renate Wagner, Wiener Merker, 17.6.2012

“… Simon Keenlyside hat den Posa oft gesungen, sicher nie in einem Gewand, das aus Hemd und braunem, langem Wams besteht (ach, Du armer Malteserritter!), mit dem er aussieht wie (suchen Sie es sich aus) Robin Hood oder Wilhelm Tell oder der brave Landmann von nebenan – Marquis Posa weiß offenbar nicht, wie man sich am Königshof anzieht. Wollte er mit solch schlichtem Outfit (das Spanische Hofzeremoniell gab es noch im 19. Jahrhundert, er wäre damit nicht bei der Tür hereingekommen) irgendwelchen Protest artikulieren, wäre das unter dem Intelligenzlevel, den man ihm zuschreiben möchte… Keenlyside ist nach irgendwelchen Krankheiten (die er in einem Interview vor der Premiere andeutete) mehr als genesen, die Stimme ist fabelhaft, mit ihrem rauen Timbre interessant und schön zugleich, er hat die Kraft, die Höhe, und er beherrscht die Rolle bis ins kleinste Detail. Er ist auch, das fällt auf, der einzige auf der Bühne, der sich nicht wie ein Opernsänger gebärdet, sondern wie ein wirklicher Schauspieler, der mit vielen mimischen und gestischen Details die Befindlichkeit seiner Figur klar macht. Er hatte es, von dem blödsinnigen Kostüm gehandicapt, mit der Rolle nicht so leicht wie sonst, aber er siegte auf ganzer Linie. …”

” … Simon Keenlyside has sung Posa quite often, but surely never in a costume which consisted of shirt and a long, brown jerkin (oh, poor Maltese knight!) in which he looks (choose for yourself) like Robin Hood or William Tell or an honest country neighbour. The Marquis of Posa obviously doesn’t know how to dress for the king’s court. If he had attempted to make a protest wearing this plain outfit (Spanish court ceremonial still existed in the 19th century – he would not have been allowed to enter the door dressed in it) it would be beneath the intelligence level which you like to ascribe to him … After a spell of illness (which he hinted at in an interview before the opening night) Keenlyside has more than recovered. The voice is fabulous, with its raw timbre both interesting and beautiful at the same time. He has the strength and the necessary high notes, he  inhabits the role right up to the smallest detail. He is also – which stands out – the only one on stage who does not behave like an opera singer but like a real actor who illustrates through use of gesture and facial expressions the mental state of the character. It wasn’t easy for him, handicapped by this unfortunate costume, but he succeeded on all counts. …”

Kleine Zeitung, 17.6.2012

” … Simon Keenlyside als Carlo-Freund Rodrigo präsentierte sich als wahres Stimmerlebnis. Ebenso fest wie die Liebe seines Rodrigo zu Spanien ist die Stimme des britischen Baritons. …”

“…SK as Carlo’s friend Rodrigo presents himself as a real vocal experience. As firm as the love of his Rodrigo for Spain is the voice of the British bariton. …”

Ernst P. Strobl, Salzburger Nachrichten, 17.6.2012

” … Und mittendrin ist da noch ein Idealist Rodrigo, der um Flanderns Freiheit kämpft und sich für seinen Freund opfert (Simon Keenlyside voll Noblesse, Weltklasse). …”

” … and right in the middle is the idealist Rodrigo who fights for the freedom of Flanders and sacrifices himself for his friend (Simon Keenlyside full of nobility, world class). … “

Gert Korentschnig, Der Kurier, 17.6.2012

“…Simon Keenlyside besticht als Marquis von Posa mit noblem Timbre, feinen Kantilenen und einer umwerfenden Todesszene. Der euphorische Applaus für ihn war eine späte Genugtuung für die völlig verpatzte “Macbeth”-Premiere – seine letzte große Verdi-Rolle in Wien. …”

” … Simon Keenlyside impresses as the Marquis of Posa with noble timbre, subtle cantilenas and a stunning death scene. The euphoric applause for him was a late satisfaction for the totally messed up  opening night of Macbeth – his previous major Verdi role  in Vienna. …”

Wilhelm Sinkovic, Die Presse, 17.6.2012

” … Simon Keenlyside als Posa: lyrisch-subtil noch im heldischen Aufbäumen gegen das Schicksal. Der Bariton hat Kern, Kraft gewonnen, aber nichts vom edlen Ebenmaß der Linienführung verloren. …”

” … Simon Keenlyside as Posa:  Lyrical and subtle even when heroically rebelling against fate. His baritone has gained core and strength, but has not lost the noble beauty of its line. …”

Ljubiša Tošic, Der Standard, 17.6.2012

” … und nicht nur stimmlich grandios, vielmehr auch schauspielerisch differenziert Simon Keenlyside (als Rodrigo). … “

“…and not only vocally splendid but also nuanced in acting Simon Keenlyside (as Rodrigo) …”

Dominic Troger, Oper in Wien, 17.6.2012

” … Sein Freund Posa fand in Simon Keenlyside einen modernen Singschaupieler, der in dieser Produktion aber nicht wirklich viel zu spielen hatte. Keenlyside war trotzdem auffallend präsent, punktete mit einer schön gesungenen Kerker- und Sterbeszene und ist für meinen Geschmack doch nicht so ganz der ideale Verdibariton, im Timbre vielleicht eine Spur zu hell und zu wenig sinnlich. Aber was heißt schon „ideal“? …”

” … His friend Posa found in Simon Keenlyside a modern singing actor who really did not have to act a great deal in this production. Keenlyside was nevertheless conspicuously present, scoring with his wonderfully sung prison and death scene, although for my taste he is still not an ideal Verdi baritone – his timbre is perhaps a suggestion too light and not sensual enough. But what does “ideal” really mean? …”

Ernst Naredi-Rainer, Kleine Zeitung, 17.6.2012

” … Simon Keenlyside, der 2003 unter Welser-Möst in Cleveland sein Rollendebüt als Posa gegeben hat, glänzt mit der eleganten Legatokultur seines sehnigen, höhensicheren Baritons. …”

” … Simon Keenlyside, who made his role debut as Posa in 2003 under the baton of Welser-Möst     in Cleveland, sparkles with his elegant legato and the security of his flexible baritone. …”

OÖNachrichten.at,18.6.2012

” … Bei Bariton Simon Keenlyside passten Timbre und Gefühl für diese Musik, ein ganz großer Marquis Posa.  …”

” … “Timbre and feeling for this music combined together in Simon Keenlyside, a really great Marquis of Posa. …”

Renate Wagner, Neues Volksblatt, 18.6.2012

” … Sicherlich ist ein gedanklich leerer Raum wie dieser ein Rahmen für Sänger mit großen Persönlichkeiten. Der Brite Simon Keenlyside muss hier als Erster genannt werden. Allerdings verlangte man von ihm, den Marquis Posa nicht als eleganten Malteserritter, sondern im braunen Wams als eine Art Wilhelm Tell darzustellen. Er kompensierte diesen Unsinn durch ausgefeilte Gesangs- und Spielkünste und überzeugte letztlich auch als Figur. …”

” … Certainly a notional empty room like this is a frame for singers with huge personalities. The Briton Simon Keenlyside has to be named first. But he was asked to portray the Marquis of Posa not as an elegant Maltese knight but dressed in a brown jerkin as a kind of William Tell. He compensated for this nonsense with sophisticated singing and acting and in the end convinced as the character. …”

Boris Michael Gruhl, Klassik.com, 20.6.2012

” … Gefeiert wird der englische Bariton Simon Keenlyside als Rodrigo, dem Malteser-Ritter Marquis von Posa, für seine Art, kühnem Freiheitsdenken leidenschaftliche Töne zu geben und dabei jeden Anklang musikalischer Übertreibung zu vermeiden. …”

” … The English baritone Simon Keenlyside, as the Maltese Knight Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa, was acclaimed for his ability to express audacious thoughts of freedom in passionate music, whilst avoiding any hint of vocal exaggeration. …”

Daniel Ender, NZZ, 21.6.2012

” … Akustisch gab es somit doch noch jene psychologische Durchdringung, die sonst weitgehend fehlte – vor allem bei Krassimira Stoyanova als vom Lyrischen bis zum äussersten Gefühlsausbruch homogener Elisabetta und bei Simon Keenlyside, der als Rodrigo aus farblichen Abstufungen eine unheimliche Spannkraft entwickelte.  …”

“… Accousticallythe psychological penetration  existed which was otherwise mostlyabsent – especially with Krassimira Stoyanova whose homogenous Elisabetta moved from lyrical to the highest emotional release and with Simon Keenlyside who, as Rodrigo, generated an incredible tension through gradations in vocal colour. …”

Daniel Wagner, Wiener Zeitung, 18.6.2012

” … Die Kostüme von Carla Teti erwiesen passend zum Gesamtbild ebenso wenig Schick – den einzigen Ausrutscher aus der Masse schwedischen Einheitslooks stellte Posas Robin-Hood-Kostüm dar. … Ihm [Rene Pape] zur Seite stand als gewohnt souveräner Rodrigo Simon Keenlyside. Der englische Tausendsassa erklärte sein lächerliches Kostüm zur normalsten Sache der Welt und so wurde Marquis Posa ein großer Kämpfer für die Freiheit Flanderns und Spaniens. …”

„ …The costumes of Carla Teti proved suitable for the overall setting, providing  little glamour – the only slip from the mass of the Swedish standard look was Posa’s Robin Hood costume.   ….   At his [Rene Pape’s] side stood Simon Keenlyside’s usual confident Rodrigo. The English Jack of all Trades behaved as if his ridiculous costume was the most normal thing in the world and so the Marquis of Posa became a great fighter for the freedom of Flanders and Spain. …” 

Moore Parker, The Opera Critic, 19.6.2012

” … As Posa, Simon Keenlyside makes very intelligent use of his resources, phrasing well, and creating a truly credible and sympathetic figure. His death scene was one of the highlights of the evening.  …”

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

asperia July 13, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Simon was great at first night :), no wonder reviews are good 🙂
I liked him best. And absolutely no problem to hear him just under the ceiling 🙂

Kew July 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Hello,

A bit of heads-up. According to a lady in Arcadia shop of the Vienna state opera, Simon will appear in the next year (2013) calendar, which is coming out in the market shortly. Although she did not reveal which opera, presumably Don Carlo.

Cheers
Kew

Jane June 30, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Ah ha!! Thank you so much Inci. I certainly thought Simon sounded absolutely wonderful when I listened to the opera on line on June 19th. I have heard quite a few people say that Simon is the best Posa ever. Hopefully one day I will get to a live performance of Don Carlo with Simon in that role.
~ Jane

Inci Birsel June 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Jane,I just found the post I sent on June 19, 11pm.I will repeat–it was the best Posa I have seen and heard. Inci

Inci Birsel June 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm

But I have already done that:In fact as soon as I came home,mesmerized from the wonderfully chosen stellar cast and star of the evening–Simon, I added a post. Simon got great reviews on all newspapers. He was spectacular. Well done! Now I am looking forward to ‘The Tempest’. Inci

Jane June 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Inci,
What did you think? I was hoping to read a post from you before now, as you saw Don Carlo last week and you were so looking forward to it.
~ Jane

Susanne from Germany June 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm

What an evening! I have seen “Don Carlo” on last friday, listening Simon I thought I must die!
Susanne

Inci Birsel June 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm

I can hardly wait to hear and watch SK tomorrow night. 🙂 Inci

Slavka June 17, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Love the photos, I’m seeing this production on June 29 🙂 Can’t wait to see SK sing live for the first time 🙂

diana jones June 17, 2012 at 11:50 am

Whether or not the costume was right for Posa, judging by the photos Simon looked fabulous in it!! I thought it sounded a marvellous production, and shall certainly be listening to the BR Klassik broadcast on Tuesday. Apart from Simon, who sounded magnificent as always, I particularly enjoyed Ramon Vargas as Carlo and the wonderful Rene Pape as the king. And no matter how many times I hear him sing it, Simon always reduces me to tears when Posa is dying, and this time was no exception. Bravo everyone!!
Diana.

Petra June 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

It is already mentioned in the today’s news, I am work on the translation.

Akiko June 14, 2012 at 11:33 am
Inci Birsel May 16, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I will see Don Carlo on June 19,Tuesday. and will try to take pictures. Inci

Petra May 10, 2012 at 6:17 am

Gwyn and I will be there but for the last performance. So if you are ealier and have some nice photos afterwards you are welcome to share them with all of us.
Petra

Inci Birsel May 9, 2012 at 11:34 pm

I have a ticket for Don Carlo in Vienna.Can’t wait to hear Simon sing in this new productionI wonder if anyone will be taking pictures for the site. I could gladly if need be. Just let me know,please.Inci Birsel

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