Terrific, especially because of Bruson and Nesterenko
TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
3 July 2011
I love Verdi, and I adore Don Carlo, story-wise and music wise it is
one of Verdi's most complex scores but for me also one of his best.
This 1978 production is available on CD, and as a production it is
Finding a number of clips from the production online, I found the
costumes, video directing and sets of very high calibre, particularly
during Dio Che Nell'alma Infondere and Ella Giammai M'amo, not so much
O Carlo Ascolta where the setting didn't feel enough like a prison.
The orchestra are superb especially during the duet between Posa and
Phillip and A Mezzanotte, and Claudio Abbado's conducting has real
flair to it.
The performances are pretty much exceptional. For me, least effective
was Margaret Price. She does sing beautifully, is very moving in the
final act and has the top notes, but the singing itself could have been
more dynamic, more pianissimos wouldn't have gone amiss.
Placido Domingo is overall very, very good as Don Carlo. Vocally, he is
in glorious shape, with great attention to phrasing, dynamics, diction
and intonation. My disappointment with Domingo was his almost
non-existent reaction to Posa's death in O Carlo Ascolta, where he just
stands there when I watched the production online. I blame the director
for this, Domingo is an outstanding singing-actor in that he becomes
the character he plays, but you wouldn't have guessed in this
particular scene which was perfection up to then.
Yelena Obraztsowa is a fiery Princess Eboli with her shining moments
being in the Veil song and A Mezzanotte. Luigi Roni is resonant and
quite powerful as The Grand Inquisitor. However, two especially stand
out. Yuvgeny Nesterenko is an outstanding Phillip, his duet with Bruson
is superb and his Ella Giammai M'amo manages to be very poignant in
contrast. His voice is of considerable power too, his high notes
positively ring and his basso notes are both audible and secure in
The best performance of the night belongs to Renato Bruson as Posa. He
has a rich, big, velvety voice, a great technique and as an actor in
general he's not so shabby either. Bruson portrays Posa, which is
probably ideal role for a lot of Verdi baritones, as noble, idealistic
and loyal, exactly as I feel Posa should be. While vocally throughout
he is absolutely spot-on, his O Carlo Ascolta is phenomenal and perhaps
the most heartfelt rendition of the entire production.
In conclusion, a terrific production helped hugely by the brilliant
performance of Bruson and also of Nesterenko. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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