"The Metropolitan Opera Presents" Don Carlo (TV Episode 1983) Poster

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Ghiaurov, Freni, Furlanetto, Bumbry...Wow
The best singing of Verdi's most introspective and complex score. This video should be a requisite for any and all collections. Act III (perhaps Verdi's best) would merit a graduate seminar review on its own virtues. Freni gives a riveting rendition of "Tu che ne vanita...", and the duet between Filipo and The Inquisitor is appropriately earth shaking. For being a filmed stage performance, the videography and performances are acutely intimate, with a number of interesting angles and close-ups. Despite the inconclusive ending, this is one of the high points of western musical theater, and is under appreciated outside of hard-core opera circles. An absolute 10.
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Interesting and beautifully sung
TheLittleSongbird2 December 2010
As some may know I am a big fan of classical music and opera, but this performance of Don Carlo(s) was quite a treat for me, seeing as I am very fond of several of the singers involved here. I agree the ending is somewhat inconclusive, but part of me thinks that that is more to do with the opera than with the production itself. The story is complicated, maybe not quite Il Trovatore complicated, but it is quite a complex opera with a lot going on.

Production-wise, this is excellent. The costumes and sets are wonderfully done, and the videography is interesting to say the least, loved some of the shots. I love Verdi's score to death. Like the story, it is one of his more complex ones, and is full of amazing moments, especially Carlo and Rodreigo's duet, the duet between Phillip and Rodreigo which is really quite scary, Rodreigo's death aria and Phillip's lament. And the singing and acting are top drawer.

Placido Domingo is wonderful here, it is not the best I've seen him, but he does demonstrate an amazing voice and great stage presence. Louis Quilico is a good Rodreigo, though he takes some time to warm up and is rather stolid, he blended well with Domingo and his death scene was very moving. Mirella Freni is both stunning and riveting, I have always loved for her alluring personality and big beautiful voice, and this is no exception as she is heart rending sometimes here, while Grace Bumbry with her seductive diction is for me one of the best Ebolis there is. Nicolai Ghiaurov is just amazing here, there are several roles that were made for him(ie. Gremin, Colline) and this is one of them. So noble, so firm with a presence that literally leaves you on the edge of your seat. And Ferruccio Furlanetto is one of the most imposing and chilling Grand Inquisitors I've seen.

Overall, very interesting and effortlessly performed from all involved. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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