Don Carlo is in the top 5 of my favourite Verdi operas, especially for its amazing music that is one of the more complex Verdi scores perhaps. This 1986 production is one of my favourites of this amazing opera. I like and respect Herbert Von Karajan, and he conducts with real finesse and power while conducting without a score, especially coming to life in the powerful climaxes such as Act 2's and A Mezzanotte. The orchestra as always are superb.
Musically if there was one thing I wasn't entirely fond of, it was that Eboli's Veil Song is cut in half, which to me didn't make sense. Visually it is solid, with excellent clarity and good video directing(though I could have done with less of the sideway shots). The sets and lighting suit the tone of the opera well, if a tad drab in the Auto-Da-Fe scene, while the costumes look great.
It's the singing that really makes this production. Jose Carreras sings wonderfully, and I don't think I have seen a performance this charismatic from him before. 22-year old Fiamma Izzo D'Amico is a beautifully-sung, pure and dutiful Elisabetta(not to mention absolutely beautiful!), while Piero Cappucilli is great and vocally expressive as Posa, his Dio Che Nell'Alma Infondere with Carreras is a treat and epitomises loyalty and nobility. Matti Salminen is an appropriately imposing Grand Inquisitor. My favourites though are Agnes Baltsa's fiery, melodramatic and very exciting Eboli(particularly in O Don Fatale) and Ferruccio Furlanetto's dark, conflicted and very moving King Phillip.
Overall, a great production and one of my favourites of this opera. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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