Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Don Carlo on

I am watching Verdi's Don Carlo from the Royal Opera on with many of the same cast as the Metropolitan Opera in HD in 2010.  There are:

Marina Poplavskaya (Elizabeth of Valois)
Simon Keenlyside (Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa)
Ferruccio Furlanetto (Philip II)

The production is the same.  The main differences are the conductor is Antonio Pappano, Eboli is sung by Sonia Ganassi and Don Carlo is sung by Rolando Villazon. I think I prefer Ganassi to Anna Smirnova.

It's different.  How is that possible?  I think that Pappano is very sensitive to the great beauty of this opera, perhaps Verdi's most beautiful.  I can see Don Carlo played for romance and beauty rather than intensity and melodrama.  For this perspective Marina is the perfect Elizabeth.  She grows on me.

Villazon retains all of his intensity, but I think his voice has acquired roughness.  His voice lacks the power to project his personal intensity.  My opinion hasn't changed about him.  But for the beautiful Don Carlo perhaps he is right.

Now we are in the third act and Carlo raises his sword against his father.  Posa steps between them and the theme from the duet of Carlo and Posa plays in the orchestra.  We have a Leitmotiv.  Philip knights Posa.


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