Verdi's Don Carlo

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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Ferruccio Furlanetto as Philip II in Verdi's 'Don Carlo' Ferruccio Furlanetto as Philip II in Verdi's 'Don Carlo' (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

Nicholas Hytner's production of Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlo, which made its debut in 2010, returns, this time featuring the Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas singing the title role.

Verdi's five-act opera is set in the mid-1500s, at the time of the Spanish Inquisition. It tells the story of Carlo, heir to the throne, whose beloved Elisabeth (Barbara Frittoli), the daughter of King Henry II, marries Carlos father, King Phillip II (Ferruccio Furlanetto), in order to help cement a peace treaty between France and Spain.

Lorin Maazel conducts.


Conductor: Lorin Maazel
Elisabeth de Valois: Barbara Frittoli
Eboli: Anna Smirnova
Don Carlo: Ramón Vargas
Rodrigo: Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Philip II: Ferruccio Furlanetto
Grand Inquisitor: Eric Halfvarson

Comments [11]

Faith from Hackettston NJ

Wonderful opera - but terribly sad and terribly sad for the Catholic Church to endure their history - singers however were fantastic!!

Mar. 11 2013 07:34 PM
Susan Hochberg from NYC

Just wondering why Maazel did not take a bow at the conclusion of "Don Carlo" which just ended. I thought the singers sounded wonderful today - better than some of them sounded the night I attended in the house. I am all for an historically accurate staging and this one is good in spots, but the ending is bizarre.

Mar. 09 2013 04:05 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard wagner Musuc Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Since my last entry 5, no less, arias and one scene for two, Philup ii [Ferruccio Furlanetto] and the Inquisitor [Eric Halvorson]], the arias by Rodrigo [Dmitri Hvorostovsky], Eboli [Anna Smirnova] and Elizabeth [Barbara Fritttoli] and the scene with Don Carlos [Ramon Vargas] and Elizabeth close to the end of the opera have been marvelously sung by all concerned. The orchestra and chorus throughout have been standouts. Kudos to all ! It's 3:48 PM and the opera broadcast's music has ended.

Mar. 09 2013 03:50 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

VERDI'S DON CARLO is his reproach to the cruel presence of the INQUISITION.
Verdi, like Wagner, both of whom lived in eras of turmoil, where "city states" or small communities prevailed or monarchies ruled without reins on their morality or its lack. Tyrants exist and have existed throughout the world and at all times and creative minds have sought to reveal their true natures, usually to a change for the better. BORIS GODUNOV was a tyrant as were many SHAKESPEARE and VICTOR HUGO personages in their plays. DON CARLOS IS A MASTERPIECE OF THE FIRST ORDER WITH A MESSAGE !!! THE CAST IS EXEMPLARY, particularly DMITRI HVOROSTOVSKY AS THE MARQUIS DE POSA [RODRIGO], FERRUCCIO FURLANETTPO [PHILIP II] AND ANNA SMIRNOVA [EBOLI]. MAESTRO LORIN MAAZEL IS AS GOOD AS THEY GET !!] I am a Wagnerian heldentenor, opera composer and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where I coach all the Wagner and Shakesoeare roles and teach singing and speech techniques.

Mar. 09 2013 12:42 PM

The greatest treat today is to listen to Don Carlo and NOT HAVE TO SEE the very inferior and overly stylized production. The authenticity is nowhere to be seen, and the "designer" hand is VERY heavy. Unfortunately people like ardath_bey will accept ANYTHING Peter Gelb dishes out in the name of "new" or faux-"creativity." This flimsy and misleading production is what passes for a "traditional" style production these days with so many holes and mistakes it is ridiculous. We were really sickened by the dumb and limited production --And, that is the REAL reason ticket sales are down at The MET. And, yes, it looked good on the HD because with 18 cameras and productions designed and directed for movie making you can make ANYTHING look good. Notice at least the costumes are still finely made as the camera closes in on them. That is the tragedy these days, that very inferior and frankly dumb (both in historical knowledge and real creativity) visuals are being draped on still great music and singing. Sadly, it will take years for the attendance and subscriptions to go down before they are forced to get someone in there who has some real theatrical taste and most importantly, a sense of authenticity in telling these wonderful stories. Without authenticity it is all visual shambles and mishmash.

Mar. 09 2013 12:17 PM
Ellen L from West Chester, PA

I, too, am enjoying the wonderful conducting of Maazel. Concetta, I am sorry to hear you do not care for the Fountainbleau scene. I love it, especially as I remember the bad old days when that act was cut and you were left to wonder exactly what Carlo was so upset about! Giving the characters a wonderful love duet serves to heighten the drama when that love is frustrated by political considerations. Yes, the opera is long, but never tedious or boring, always imho.

Mar. 09 2013 12:05 PM
Dr. Helga Wall-Apelt from Sarasota, FL

What a treat to listen to Don Carlos under the Baton of Lorin Maazel. Don Carlos was my first opera live at my young age of 8 years. Still , and for ever , my favorite Opera. The duet between Don Carlos and Rodriguez is the most divine in all operas.
Thanks to WQXR to lighten the Sabbath with this strong and unforgettable music.

Mar. 09 2013 11:44 AM
CONCETTA NARDONE from Nassau county

CBC: Wish the first scene in the gardens were eliminated. The opera is a long one.
This opera would start in the chapel with the monks chanting The duet between Carlo and the Marquis de Posa is what grand opera is all about. What a powerful scene.

Mar. 09 2013 11:28 AM
Ellen L from West Chester, PA

Ardath, we are enjoined to be civil in our comments, so I will just observe that creativity and innovation must still be in service to the work of art, not an imposition of irrelevant baggage that only obscures the work's original intention. It is a pity that Madison's wonderful irony is lost on you.

Mar. 09 2013 11:21 AM

Madison, closed minded people who can't deal with innovation and creativity in art should stay away from live theater. They should visit their local antique shop instead, so they can admire chandeliers, spiraling stairways and red velvet curtains there. The MET Opera is not a museum.

Mar. 08 2013 01:00 PM

Note to Peter Gelb

If Philip is supposed to be a king, why isn't he wearing a tuxedo? And those guys around him with the pointy hats look suspiciously like bishops of the Catholic Church. If they are, why aren't they wearing nice business suits with white shirts and ties? Suggestion: You can use the nice white shirts that that medieval esquires wear in the present "timeless" Parsifal.You know, the one where in the last act the medieval knights are dressed like the unemployed homeless of the great depression. As for the opulent Don Carlo setting with all that gold? Get Luc Bondy to shabby that up a little to reflect the sad state of the present day Spanish monarchy. Then, maybe I'll finally understand what the opera's about.

Mar. 08 2013 10:42 AM

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