Verdi's 'Don Carlo'

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

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

Join us Saturday at 12 pm for the return of Nicholas Hytner's production of Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlo, this time featuring Brazilian tenor Ricardo Tamura singing the title role. Tamura replaces Yonghoon Lee, who is ill. Tamura was scheduled to sing the role of Don Carlo this coming Wednesday. This is his second role at the Met and his broadcast debut.

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.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducts this production, which debuted in 2010.

Last month, Lee was a last-minute substitution for tenor Jonas Kaufmann in a Saturday matinee broadcast of Bizet's Carmen.


Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Elisabeth de Valois: Barbara Frittoli
Eboli: Ekaterina Gubanova
Don Carlo: Ricardo Tamura
Rodrigo: Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Philip II: Ferruccio Furlanetto
Grand Inquisitor: James Morris

Comments [15]

Les from Miami, Florida

An heroic effort was made by the indisposed Ricardo Tamura. I couldn't help thinking nonetheless that his was a voice uncomfortable in much of the tessitura required of the leading role, mostly from the break and upward. In mid-range, his timbre reminded me of Nino Martini, a beloved tenor of an earlier day, though Don Carlo(s) was not a role he would ever think of singing onstage. Barbara Frittoli is possessed of a voice of great beauty and expressiveness, but my sensibility is such that the wide vibrato she cultivates is an off-putting factor. Ekaterina Gubanova fully lived up to expectations. The men's lower voices all shone brightly: even James Morris elected to sing the low E in his dialogue with King Philip. The playing of the orchestra was nothing less than superb throughout, but as in last week's "Ernani" matine'e broadcast, I wished for louder cymbal crashes in the tutti passages. It amazes me that the very first music heard in the Fontainbleau act is played by antiphonal horns --- two on the left of the stage and two on the right --- presaging those in the Grand March from "Ai"da". The four horns that begin Act II couldn't have sounded more beautiful as far as I'm concerned. How Verdi can evoke a mood with relatively few instruments is a continual wonder; and to pick one example of very many, I refer to the beginning of the scene in which the Grand Inquisitor visits King Philip. 'Cellos, contrabasses, bass drum, timpani, trombones, bassoons and contra-bassoon (the only time Verdi wrote for one if I'm not mistaken), introduce the chilling scene. Ne'zet-Se'guin's conducting was admirable, as was his de'but in "Carmen" a few seasons ago. Though flawed, I'm grateful to have heard the performance.

Apr. 12 2015 09:43 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Not one of my favorites but I made time to listen to Ferruccio. What a great rendition for his aria, She Never Loved Me.

Apr. 11 2015 05:06 PM
Paul from Brooklyn, NY

What a shame. I was so looking forward to this performance. What a disappointment. I'll have to listen to my Domingo/Caballe recording to hear great singing.

Apr. 11 2015 04:21 PM
ann from Boston

Ferrucio makes up for any shortcomings. Always. Heart stopping.

Apr. 11 2015 03:20 PM
CastaDiva from New York, NY

Furlanetto is superb as Phillip II. I have seen him several times in this role, and he never fails to astound. His performance alone makes this worth going to. Dimitry H's voice is too much in the Russian florid style for this, and I'm glad I'll have Keenlyside for the Ap. 25 performance. Frittoli's is not spectacular, but she has a lovely, pleasing sound. This has to one of the grandest of grand operas, a pageant of a slice of history, although with artistic licence, in spades.

Apr. 11 2015 03:15 PM

Well, I do not think anyone would consider this a great performance by our substitute tenor. He had genuine vocal problems in the Garden Scene, and pitch uncertainties before that. Now he just sounds awful.

Apr. 11 2015 02:18 PM
George from 40th St

I guess these comments typify what makes opera such a popular "blood sport". Yonghoon Lee is a spectacular tenor as witnessed by his DON CARLO in 2010 as well as his CARMEN In 2012 and this season pinch-hitting for Jonas. We are very fortunate to have him here and I am looking forward to his MANRICO next season.

Apr. 11 2015 01:53 PM
The Marschallin from Manhattan

Yep! Not very good all around...

Apr. 11 2015 01:17 PM
CastaDiva from New York, NY

Tamura is very good indeed. Beautiful Italianate sound. I wish HE were singing in the Ap. 25 performance I am going to. Didn't much care for Lee, although he performed as well as he could as the replacement in the Carmen performance.

Apr. 11 2015 01:17 PM
ann from Boston

this tenor is not up to the role. Shaky and off key!??

Apr. 11 2015 12:52 PM

Beduzza mia Concetta. This is one I can pass on. Hope all is well with you.

Apr. 11 2015 12:46 PM

uncle-charlie, I will have to disagree about Yonghoon Lee. He is far from any of your dismissive adjectives. Did you hear him in the Carmen broadcast? He replaced, very capably, imho, the ill Jonas Kaufmann. I do share your hope that the replacement tenor today will do well, but I am not sure what his nationality has to do with it.

Apr. 11 2015 11:51 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

It's great to hear the five act version. The title role singer is unknown to me. Ekaterina Gubanova and Ferrucio Furlanetto are sensational in their respective roles. Although this and the Met's websites have Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Rodrigo, WFMT's says its Simon Keenlyside. We'll see. Both are excellent, by my lights. I think it's exciting that the Philadelphia Orchestra's music director will conduct; and it would be equally exciting hearing others from the Big Five as well. (Alan Gilbert conducted "Don Giovanni" this season). I wish this website (and the Met's as well) would list all of the singers for every opera rather than just the principals, The BBC's always does. I, for one, would love to know in advance who will be singing the Celestial Voice, for instance.

Apr. 11 2015 10:43 AM

Ricardo Tamura will replace Yonghoon Lee who's ill and a complete bore on stage, dull voice too. At least we'll have a great exciting Brazilian tenor on stage today.

Apr. 11 2015 09:53 AM

Beduzzo Cavanaugh: Hope you are well. Will try to listen today. Not one of my favorites but there is some great music in this one.

Apr. 11 2015 06:56 AM

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