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Verdi, Guiseppe: Don Carlo (DVD) EMI/ROH

Don Carlo (DVD)

Live from the Royal Opera House, London

Verdi Don Carlo DVD


WINNER OF THE 2011 GRAMOPHONE AWARD

At the very top of the game is Simon Keenlyside’s Posa, an idealist clearly not above using Carlos’s love for him for his own wider political purposes, thought through to the finest gesture in a magnificently sung and acted performance.” Opera magazine

Composer: Guiseppe Verdi
Conductor: Antonio Pappano
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Designs: Bob Crowley
Lighting: Mark Henderson
Performers:

Don Carlo: Rolando Villazón
Elisabetta di Valois: Marina Poplavskaya
Rodrigo: Simon Keenlyside
Philip II: Ferruccio Furlanetto
Princess Eboli: Sonia Ganassi
Tebaldo: Pumeza Matshikiza
Conte di Lerma: Nikola Matišic
Flemish Deputies: Jacques Imbrailo, Krzysztof Szumanski, Kostas Smoriginas, Daniel Grice, Darren Jeffery, Vuyani Mlinde
Grand Inquisitor: Eric Halfvarson
Monk: Robert Lloyd
Voice from Heaven: Anita Watson

Recorded: 3 July 2008 live at the Royal Opera House
Format: PAL
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 2
Studio: EMI Classics
DVD Release Date: 13 Sep 2010
ASIN: B003Y58CL2

Click below for performance details, photos and reviews

2008_Don_Carlo_ROH_16

What the critics say

George Hall, Opera, November 2010

While it was clearly a retrogressive step for the Royal Opera to return to the Italian translation of Verdi’s opera after having previously offered the original French text, Nicholas Hytner’s production, recorded in June and July 2008, presents the 1886 Modena edition of Verdi’s score, sung in Italian. Useful as Christopher Wintle’s informative article on the many editions is, it would have been nice to find a list of cue-points included in the booklet as well, though no room has been found for one.

The period costumes and atmospheric sets for the show generally work well. Least successful is the visually lopsided auto-da-fe, particularly the moment when an interpolated speaking character, the Priest Inquisitor, offers his named victims one final opportunity to confess. Unfortunate too is the point during the Philip-Grand Inquisitor duet when the former picks up a dagger to stab the latter in the back before thinking better of it. Otherwise, Hytner’s direction is purposive and concentrated, and his cast thoroughly committed in presenting the connects and divides of the work’s complex network of ideas and interrelationships.

Vocally, too, this is a strong performance. Marina Poplavskaya conveys a dark-toned, dignified Elizabeth, her often beautifully sculpted line defining a deeply sentient human being. Sonia Ganassi offers a flamboyantly gutsy and skilfully sung Eboli. Ferruccio Furlanetto’s firmness and solidity are the basis of an uptight and insecure yet still dominating Philip – not the most searching or intense of portrayals but pressing most of the right buttons most of the time. Robert Lloyd is an imposing Carlos V and Eric Halfvarson a terrifying Inquisitor. At the very top of the game is Simon Keenlyside’s Posa, an idealist clearly not above using Carlos’s love for him for his own wider political purposes, thought through to the finest gesture in a magnificently sung and acted performance.

More problematic is Rolando Villazon in the title role. His moonfaced, melancholy conception fits the part, and he provides consistent engagement and even a decent trill. But vocal nuance is sometimes sacrificed to a generalized vehemence, while here and there evident strain on his resources becomes apparent and his already tense tenor is audibly taxed. The role is surely not for him.

Antonio Pappano’s conducting supplies rhythmic suppleness and consistent stylistic assurance. The overall result is an appreciable and regularly successful attempt on one of the most ambitious of all operas.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

asperia October 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Simon can´t disappoint :), only exceed expections:)

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