Verdi's Don Carlo

This episode begins earlier than usual, at 12:30 pm

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Metropolitan Opera returns to the radio this season with a new production of Don Carlo, Verdi's epic love story set during the Spanish Inquisition. The top-drawer cast includes soprano Marina Poplavskaya as Elisabeth, the Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto as the tormented King Philip and the South Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee in the title role (replacing Roberto Alagna). The young Canadian Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts.

Achille de Lauzières and Angelo Zanardini wrote the original text for the production, but the libretto was later revised by Antonio Ghislanzoni and Verdi himself.

World Premiere: Paris Opera (Salle Le Peletier), March 11, 1867 (French Version)
U.S. Premiere: New York, Academy of Music, April 12, 1877 (five-act version, in Italian)
Metropolitan Opera Premiere: December 23, 1920 (four-act version, in Italian)

Cast

Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Elisabeth de Valois: Marina Poplavskaya
Princess Eboli: Anna Smirnova
Don Carlo: Yonghoon Lee
Rodrigo: Simon Keenlyside
Philip II: Ferruccio Furlanetto
Grand Inquisitor: Eric Halfvarson

Margaret Juntwait returns as the broadcast series's host for her seventh season, joined by commentator Ira Siff.

Comments [13]

Herbert Hess from Toronto

Amazing similarities between "Don Carlo"
and Aida. Radames loves one woman but
is forced (not quite) to marry another. Elizabetta loves one man but is forced to marry another. Bad guys are the priests in Aida (bloodthirsty too). Same in DC. Ramfis vs Grand Inquisitor. Theme of freedom for Flanders in DC and freedom for the Ethiopian slaves in Aida. Tomb scene in DC and sealed tomb in Aida.
It all brought out the conflicts and the best
creativity from Verdi. What a magnificent genius. And then the Requiem, Otello and Falstaff. He just surpasses himself.

Dec. 19 2010 04:22 PM
Fred Keller from Rio de Janeiro

boring!

did listen via webstream - internet

Dec. 18 2010 07:03 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane

Kudos to the MET OPERA for its 50 years of broadcasting and to the late Rudolph Bing for bringing "Don Carlos" to the 'Met." I remember fondly the great casts of Bjorling, Merrill, Hines and Tucker, Warren and Delia Rigal, many combinations with Fausto Cleva, etc. In today's cast Marina Poplavsky as Elizabeth, Anna Smirnova as Princess Eboli, Yonghoon Lee as Don Carlo and Simon Keenlyside as Posa and Eric Halvorsen as the Grand Inquisitor ALL acquitted themselves with distinction, partricularly Poplavsky. Congratulations to all, including, of course, the maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Merry Xmas and a New Year which we hope we will in future years look back at with fond memories. The opera broadcast has just concluded.

Dec. 18 2010 05:14 PM
Susan Sonnessa Meyer from Wayne NJ

In spite of the fact that I've been a Met subcriber for 25 years, I experienced Don Carlo for the very first time this month at a live Met performance. I was afraid I'd be bored or sleepy because of its long running time, but the plot was so gripping and the performers so outstanding, that my fears were groundless. My only disappointment were SOME of the sets because they were so "empty" and modern as to be distracting.
Poplavskaya is AMAZING! She has been blessed with incredible instrument and a commanding stage presence and is fair of both figure and face. I have never heard a singer with such a sweet voice fill the house the way she does. OUTSTANDING!
I was not sure how my opinion of the opera would hold up, but today's afternoon broadcast finds me captivated once more.

Dec. 18 2010 03:59 PM
Howard L. Levin from Jersey City

As talented and sensitive as I find Simon Keenlyside, he cannot erase my most fond memories of Sherrill Milnes' Posa. Not only was he warm and believable, he also had a most expressive trill, a rarity in baritones. Even though the friendship duet by today's singers was warm and expresive it can never, for me, replace Milnes and Domingo.. Every piece of this opera is a necessary building block for the whole and the arias and ensmble perfectly express Verdi's feelings for each emotional situation.
Furthermore, I don't think Margaret Juntwait talks too much!

Dec. 18 2010 03:06 PM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

Go figure, the audience applauded the first scene of the first act which is a real bow-wow.

Dec. 18 2010 02:18 PM
Paul from Brooklyn

What is this audience dead. They didn't applaud after the two great moments in Act 2. Where they told not to applaud?

Dec. 18 2010 02:13 PM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

This opera is better without the first scene of the first act. The story line is explained further in the opera. The second scene's opening with the chanting of the monks and the Ghostly Emperor is marvelous. The song of the veil provides some lightness to a very dark story. Some of the story line reminds me of a very tawdry soap opera. And Philip's aria lamenting that she never loved me is poignant. Otherwise, I still think it is a flawed masterpiece. I'd also eliminate Princess Eboli's Oh Don Fatale. Screaming in Italian. Maybe it sounds better in the French version. I sometimes wonder if the praise for this flawed masterpiece is due to its criticism of the Catholic Church.

Dec. 18 2010 01:52 PM
Howard L. Levin from Jersey City

I'm listening here in Jersey City and am very excited about hearing "Don Carlo" again. I was fortunate enough to be a supernumerary during the first season of the previous production and heard it for every performance. Most of those performances featured Renata Scotto, Marilyn Horne/Shirley Verrett and other first-rate singing acotrs of that period. It is a long opera, but every moment is packed with emotions and feelings perfectly expressed by the music. I am impressed withthe conducting of Nezet-Seguin, but do miss the heartfelt and intense conducting of James Levine. Act I is just ending. More comments later.

Dec. 18 2010 01:05 PM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

Greetings neighbor from across the county line.
I certainly will listen to the parts I truly love and turn it off when the parts I do not love come on. As for the good of this opera, it is what grand opera is all about.
Enjoy

Dec. 18 2010 11:37 AM
marilyn rey from Cambria Heights, NY

Forgive me, neighbor from juat across the county line, but I think Don Carlo is a GREAT opera. I think all late Verdi is awsome. I saw last Saturday's afternoon performance from standing room and I didn't think it was too long. The artists were really great which is the joy of attending live performance. Same cast today, I think, so listen on the radio and enjoy!

Dec. 18 2010 10:33 AM
concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

I finally got to see how Ms.Juntwait spells her name. Sorry. I always used Chutworth. Now, I can tweek her nose using the correct spelling. I apologize if she takes offense. This is just a gentle tweeking. I only do gentle tweeking and reserve the real nasty stuff for politicians.
Best wishes for the new season of Met broadcasts. Been listening for more than 50 years. Used to go to the library every week and pick up the score for the weekly broadcast in order to follow the opera. Got to be a real expert.

Dec. 18 2010 08:36 AM
Concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

This is a flawed opera. Too long. However some of it is wonderful. Hope Ms. Chutworth does not talk too much.
She does tend to go on and on, just like this opera.

Dec. 18 2010 08:26 AM

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