Verdi - Don Carlo / Villazon, Roocroft, Urmana, Croft, Lloyd, Ryhanen, Giuseppini, Chailly, Amsterdam Opera
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In this majestic production of Verdi's Don Carlo, Riccardo Chailly's qualities as a Verdi conductor are brilliantly displayed in the dramatic precision and transparent instrumental detail he draws from both orchestra and cast. Willy Decker directs a wonderful piece of stagecraft, letting the tragedy unwind with minimal, yet telling, interventions. The drama takes place in the mausoleum of Filippo II's Escorial, where the tombs of countless generations of Spanish royalty line the walls. Filippo's confrontation with Il grande inquisitore - which takes place over his own coffin, its resting place in the wall ready and waiting - is chillingly symbolic, as are the feet of the giant crucifix that hangs over Don Carlo as he sees his life sacrificed by his father.Press Reviews
"...a fabulous summation of Chailly's qualities as a Verdi conductor...a wonderful piece of stagecraft..." (The Guardian)
"...Croft is marvellously skilled, in the tradition of American baritones decades ago. Ryhänen is magnificent..Villazón...displayed a superb voice, rich phrasing and energetic acting..." (Opera)
"Rolando Villazón confirms that he's all set to become one of the best tenors of his generation...Villazón strikes me as the best young romantic tenor to have emerged since Carreras's youthful glory days...I have never heard Carlo's music sung with such a combination of vocal glamour, musical refinement and brooding machismo in the theatre..." (The Sunday Times)Cast
Robert Lloyd (King Philip)
Rollando Villazón (Don Carlo)
Amanda Roocroft (Elisabeth)
Dwayne Croft (Posa)
Jaakko Ryhänen (Grand Inquisitor)
Giorgio Giuseppi (Monk)
Metropolitan Opera Chorus; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Riccardo Chailly
Company: De Nederlandse Opera
Stage Director: Willy Decker
Catalogue Number: OA0933D
Date of Performance: 2004
Running Time: 199 minutes
Sound: DTS Surround; LPCM Stereo
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic
Subtitles: EN, FR, DE, ES, IT, NL
Label: Opus Arte
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Villazon was almost perfect. I enjoyed his acting, perhaps even along with the stage direction. He protrayed Don Carlo as a much weaker individual than the hero is generally protrayed and really, that seems to be the nature of the original real personality of Don Carlo. I found his acting realistic and very involved and his singing both beautiful and impassioned.
Urmana was very good as Eboli, the one thing missing being the frightening chest voice you often hear in this role. She has a solid chest voice, just not as exciting as one could wish for. However, at the end of 'O Don Fatale', her high notes were so big and free, it was quite thrilling. You could tell the audience felt the same way, so it made up for any lack in the lower range. Also she seemed very committed to the role from a dramatic standpoint.
Dwayne Croft - very pleasant singing and decent acting. 'Nuff said there.
The Grand Inquisitor - quite acceptable.
Amanda Roocroft - the worst cast of the principles. She sounded terribly pushed at the top. However 'Tu che le vanita' came off quite nicely. Her acting was very good.
The sets: Fake marble mausoleum-like. Very nice if it were for one scene or so, like maybe as the two church scenes. But the same backdrop is used for every scene, making no sense whatsoever.
The costumes: The worst - all in a puritanical dark grey or light grey. These are Spanish nobles and they are Catholic. I felt like I was watching a story about Quakers. Although they did take the felty-marbly-grey material and sew them into something like sixteenth-century fashion. So the felty material did not hang appropriately and everyone had a huge rear end with Don Carlo appearing to wear a diaper. Also, Amanda Roocroft, who is a young-looking, slim woman, looked fat (big felty butt) and old (dark and ugly makeup covering her pretty face).
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I just can say: you need to see it, to believe it!!!Read more