Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Don Carlo opens in London and the critics go wild


6 reviews of, most likely, 6 different performances.
Or not?

6 reviews on the very same performance:
the opening of Don Carlo, last night, at the ROH

So, Marianne Cornetti...

a) was better suited to Trovatore’s Azucena or Ulrica from Ballo

b) was the only truly poor link

c) brought tonal weight if a slightly measured delivery to her great aria “O don fatale”

d) hits the spot as a potent Princess Eboli

e) was an indomitable Eboli, a voice of considerable fire-power but hopelessly woolly in the lacy coloratura of her folksy Veil aria

f) was a genuine heart beneath the nastiness

And Jonas Kaufmann...

a) swaps manic, boyish bewilderment for an ardent sensitivity, with some thrilling high points

b) got lighter and lighter as the evening progressed

c) with his ringing, ardent tone and rugged good looks won all hearts

d) rised impressively to the heftier moments and maintained a genuine commitment to the drama

e) carried this romantic idealism magnificently, thrilling in his full-throated anguish, tender in his love for Elizabeth de Valois with mezza voce phrases literally melting in the singing of them (luv u Edward, u're my hero)

f) went from strength to strength as the evening wore on

On Semyon Bychkov

a) Semyon Bychkov conducts an emotionally-distant account of the score, lacking the Italianate heat and nuance of Antonio Pappano’s last year. After a magnificent Lohengrin earlier in the year, it’s something of a disappointment. Tempi are all over the place with some sections whizzing along and others dragging terribly slowly. The Veil Song lacks any sparkle

b) Bychkov set off through some pretty exotic soundscapes, the delicately flirtatious shores of Tchaikovsky, some lustrous woodwind-driven seas and big burnished clouds of noise (huh?)

c) was superb both in his highlighting of detail and in his heart-swelling delivery of the many passages of high-flown nobility

d) brought out the unutterable dignity and pathos of the extraordinary score

e) whose drive and patience ensured that both the urgency and weight of history defining this great score were magnificently served

f) tended towards the grand rather than the passionate, beating some moments with broad, epic scope and others at such speed the singers struggled to keep up

***Update***

Neil Fisher's review for The Times just showed up and is triumphant


The truth is out there.

In the meantime, let's see how Jonas' + Simon's voices match in the wonderful
"Dio, che nell' alma infondere"


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Is the recording from opening night???

spiretos72 said...

Σκεφτόμουν να πάω την περασμένη Τρίτη, αλλά για μισή ώρα δεν πρόλαβα :-(

yap said...

Hi from London, I just saw it. Having read all those mixed reviews before, I was skeptical. It completely won me over. (If only Carlo had run away with Rodrigo) I'd watch it again anytime. Wish I'd snuck my camera in.