Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A regal evening, 18 Mar. 2008
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This review is from: Don Carlo [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Of all DON CARLOs released on DVD, this is my favourite. A reviewer on the US site complains that Lima 'overacts' Carlo's neurosis: the historical character being even worse in this respect, the Argentinian tenor's portrayal (in addition to exquisite phrasing and an impeccably long breath) is a most affecting one (no Carlo on any other DVD possesses such athletic body language, especially those rich facial expressions - he sheds tears, gasps for breath, kneels, rolls over, and falls down convincingly, and at exactly the right moments). If Cotrubas and Baglioni look old as Elisabetta and Eboli, their vocal performance more than compensates. Zancanaro's acting has been unfairly condemned as rudimentary, which for me isn't true; and, vocally, his noble Posa is superior to Gobbi's (his predecessor in this production first seen in 1958 with Giulini): I hold the same view of Vickers' Carlo, no match for Lima's. Someone called Lloyd's Filippo a 'caricature': I don't see any of that here (his 2004 Amsterdam performance under Chailly is no less admirable). Rouleau's theatrical presence as the Grand Inquisitor (his eyes are terrifying) makes you forget that, vocally, he's past his prime. For 1985, picture and sound are really good, but (as with other Warner DVDs) the English subtitles are parsimonious (many phrases being deleted in favour of concise translations). As an almost complete text of the 5-act version (the tiny cuts are slightly annoying for a completist like myself), superbly conducted by Haitink, and well supported with the ROH chorus, this is an unmissable document captured at Covent Garden's old house.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Feb 2009 21:42:14 GMT
this is the corpse of Visconti's historical production - not much remains, of course. But Cotrubas is a lovely Elisabetta. Baglioni perhaps the least sexy Eboli on dvd. Lima easily takes over the opera - not very interesting as a drama, even though Giorgio Zancanaro tries to invest some energy into his part. Sorry, I do prefer KOnwitschny's Vienna version - warts and auto da fe and all...

Maria Helleberg, Denmark

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jun 2010 14:48:21 BDT
Eli Crund says:
Yes, I prefer the Konwitschny version also. Opera as theatre and a real piece of theatre at that. Provoking as hell and all the better for it.
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