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Verdi: Don Carlo - DVD Live from the Royal Opera House  [NTSC]
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Royal Opera House production of Verdi's 'Don Carlo'. The highlight of the 2007/8 season, this lavish production is staged by National Theatre director Nicholas Hytner, conducted by Antonio Pappano, and sees Rolando Villazon and Marina Poplavskaya performing the starring roles.
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Top Customer Reviews
This DVD is the Italian version of the version Claudio Abbado recorded, and after buying several Don Carlo's on DVD, I finally found this DVD from the Royal Opera House which, I think, is the definitive version on DVD.
It must have been superb seeing it at Covent Garden, and I hope one day to see it live there. In my opinion productions from the Royal Opera can be presumed to be excellent.
The star is, rightly, Rollando Villazon in the title role. The production focuses on him. He is frequently left alone on stage in between scene changes. He seems forlorn and lost, a troubled soul, having to deal with losing the love of his life to his obsessive and power hungry father, Philip II (sung by Feruccio Furlanetto).Read more ›
The most important thing for me on a DVd is the sound and I loved the nice warm and rich surround sound of this DVD.
The director obviously loves opera because for example the scene where the priest was doing a ritual over the music while the orchestra is playing and even talking is one of a very few places in any opera where it can really work well. The director definitely got the excact right spot and it actually gave a very nice flavour at that spesific part of the opera. I wouldnt use that idea too often though if I was an opera director but as I say in this case it was actually very well placed and not overdone.
This is one of my best opera dvd's and I just love it. The powefull sound of Poplavskaya on that last note at the end of the opera was hair-raizing.
This is an opera about the Spanish Infante, Carlo, who is betrothed to the French princess Elizabetta as part of a peace treaty between the two countries. The two meet and fall in love but their joy is brief as it is shortly announced that the peace negotiations have gone so well that Elizabetta is to marry, not Carlo, but his elderly father Philip II. So Carlo has to get used to calling his beloved, Mum.
Seeing the first act, set in the forest of Fontainebleau it is difficult to see how Verdi could countenance cutting it to make room for a ballet at the opera's Paris premiere. From the first duet between Rolando Villazón and Marina Poplavskaya we are aware that we are in for something special. Rolando Villazón has the voice and also the eye-rolling Rowan Atkinson look to play the slightly deranged Don. The exciting young Russian Soprano, Poplavskaya is a revelation as Elizabetta with a purity of tone and complete control throughout her vocal range.
Simon Keenlyside is an added bonus as the idealistic Marquis of Posa, Don Carlo's friend who persuades Carlo that his future is in Flanders, fighting for the cause of the oppressed Flanders people. There is a thrilling moment in Act II when they pledge eternal friendship. The theme from this aria recurs throughout the opera as a friendship leitmotif.
Act III has the spectacular Auto-da-fé with opponents of the Spanish Inquisition being burned at the stake.Read more ›
Although I usually refuse to buy opera and ballet DVDs "filmed in High Definition" that are NOT available in high definition (Blu-Ray) this was the exception because I wanted to see Rolando Villazon singing Don Carlos after having seen Roberto Alagna in the "HD Live" from the Met retransmission with the same cast and production. (Perverse, isn't it that those HD Live recordings are not available in HD either?).
The cast is superb, the production grandiose, the music and singing as good as it gets...
But having to see it in nasty, fuzzy NTSC (not even PAL !!!) with lossy sound just breaks my heart. If ever anything deserved the HD treatment it's opera. And this production in particular! I'm glad I've seen RV in the role, but I regret buying this and encouraging EMI to continue short-selling us all!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disappointing performance and production. Did not meet my expectations of the usually higher standards set by Covent Garden. Read morePublished on 8 Oct. 2011 by chipper
This is a stunning production of Verdi's Don Carlo under the direction of Antonio Pappano. The staging is fantastic ande I have never seen Rolando in anything where he does not... Read morePublished on 8 Jun. 2011 by Ms. Elaine Taylor
I saw this on TV on one of the rare occasions when the BBC actually gave us something to justify the license fee and so was keen to buy the DVD. Read morePublished on 24 Feb. 2011 by Mrs Pisaroni
Have already seen this production at ROH, and also watched MET cinewide production. I was particularly impressed each time by the 3 baritones - all bringing exceptional acting... Read morePublished on 10 Feb. 2011 by Lizzie
I can reccomend two DVD's of DON CARLO - that from the Theatre du Chatelet, Paris, now fourteen years old with Robert Alagna and Thomas Hampson, conducted by Antonio Pappano and... Read morePublished on 17 Jan. 2011 by JAGO VOGT
This is one of the most superb operas I have seen, whether live or recorded. If you buy nothing else, buy this ... (The opera itself has always been my favourite Verdi anyway)Published on 29 Nov. 2010 by Giles Penfold
The first "live" opera I ever saw was the famous Vickers/Ghaiurov/Guilini/Visconti production in the ROH. Read morePublished on 14 Nov. 2010 by The Faithful One