Thursday, Nov 21, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 42 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 3, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 27
Verdi's Don Carlos in German
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Verdi's Don Carlos in German

by Rod Parke - SGN A&E Writer

VERDI'S DON CARLOS
DEUTSCHE OPER BERLIN
DVD & video


What stands between this fine performance of one of Verdi's greatest operas and full enjoyment of the show? Two things: one cultural and the other technical. First, Verdi sung in German is difficult to overcome. Accents in the musical line fall in different places from the same lines sung in the original Italian, and not all the singers here succeed in making the German words flow in a smooth legato line.

Second, the terrible synchronization of sound and sight is so maddening that it destroys one's concentration on the performance. Even though I believe the singers are indeed singing on-camera, the on-again, off-again synch makes it appear that they are lip-synching to a pre-recorded sound track. Only devoted opera lovers can understand how upsetting having to watch an opera that appears lip-synched can be. Put simply, it destroys the visceral element of identifying with the singer's process of producing his/her sound. Many opera lovers participate, perhaps unconsciously, in the mystery of a great singer's power to make such expressive and/or beautiful sound. When a singer looks like they aren't actually doing that, it breaks the spell.

With those two caveats aside, this disc of Verdi's Don Carlos presents a terrific cast of the period (1965). It's from the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In the title role is tenor James King, a flawless singer with an attractive, masculine tone. His acting is okay for its time, if less than moving. Pilar Lorengar is a fine Elizabeth, able to pour out her lovely sound with apparent ease in all ranges. The great baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau acts and sings with intelligence and power. The 'bromance' between his Rodrigo and Carlos is under-played but realistic.

Mezzo Patricia Johnson, stepping in at the last moment to replace an ailing Mignon Dunn, is a fine Princess Eboli, equally effective in both her very different and demanding arias. Bass Josef Greindl, as King Philipp II, is a little past his prime and only occasionally manages a legato. His tone is dry, and he loses his last high note in his great aria, but his acting is strong if very old-school. Bass Martti Talvela handles the great role of the Grand Inquisitor with terrific power both through his excellent acting and his magnificent voice.

Sets in this black and white television video are simple but adequate. Director Gustav Rudolf Sellner guides the action with natural blocking, and conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch paces it all effectively. The mono sound is quite good, with good balances and no distortion. The production omits the opening forest scene, in which Carlos and Elizabeth proclaim their love, as well as the final action (both seen in Seattle Opera's productions), which sees Carlos being saved (?) by the ghost of the previous king. The version on this disc has Carlos being turned over to the Grand Inquisitor and King Philipp II, who will put him to death.

Verdi actually wrote two versions of this opera, the first in French for Paris, and the second in Italian. Tenor Vinson Cole (Carlos in Seattle's wonderful production of the French version) said the two versions are so different in their demands on the tenor that he would not even think of performing the Italian version, and that the French suited his strengths far better. I grew up with the Italian Don Carlo, as performed by the old Met, but was quickly converted to preferring the French when Seattle Opera mounted it. This German adaptation did not win me at all.

The best video of the French Don Carlos is from the Théâtre du Châtelet, with Roberto Alagna (in excellent voice), Thomas Hampson, Karita Mattila, José van Dam and Waltraud Meier, all under the great conductor Antonio Pappano. The only weaknesses are van Dam's Philip II (a little past his prime and lacking vocal power) and Meier's first aria, for which she is totally unsuited. Her later 'O don fatal' is terrific. This disc is a 2003 release, but the video is from about five years earlier.

Reviewer Rod Parke can be reached at rmp62@columbia.edu .

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

GREASE - An interview with Sarah Rose Davis
------------------------------
Wizzer Pizzer: Getting Over the Rainbow

An interview with Amy Wheeler

------------------------------
What's hot for July stage openings
------------------------------
WICKED - An interview with Michael DeVries
------------------------------
Verdi's Don Carlos in German
------------------------------
Can excellent soloists save the show?
------------------------------
Georgia Ragsdale's mostly-comic memoir, Follow You Everywhere, was the hit of the weekend
------------------------------
The Return of Chaos at Teatro ZinZanni
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
------------------------------

------------------------------
Mike still has plenty of magic
------------------------------
Bawdy Overnight a promiscuously adventurous affair
------------------------------
Energetic Dope overflowing in youthful vitality
------------------------------
Beautiful, movingly intimate Marnie an animated masterpiece
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2015 - DigitalTeamWorks 2015

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News