9 C
New York
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Advertisement

Verdi: Don Carlo [Teatro Communale di Modena] Blu-ray Review

verdi-don-carlo-teatro-regio-di-parma-blu-ray-cover

 

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Disc and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.)

The Performance

[Rating:3.5/5]

title

Don Carlo, Verdi’s 23rd  opera, exists in both French and Italian versions; it is the latter that has gained ascendancy on today’s opera stages. Given a complex plot with numerous back-stories, Don Carlo is less about the title hero than the other characters who populate the Spain of holy inquisition and political intrigue.

Don Carlo (Mario Malagnini) is anticipating the arrival of his beloved Elisabetta di Valois (Cellia Costea) only to find out that she will marry his father, King Filippo II (Giacomo Prestia) to encourage better relations between France and Spain. Carlo is supported by his friend, Rodrigo (Simone Piazzola), who has the ear of the king. However, things do not run smoothly. Princess Eboli (Alla Pozniak), in love with Don Carlo, represents a wild card that ultimately exposes the Carlo/Elisabetta relationship.  Meanwhile, King Filippo must reconcile his sovereignty with the influence of the Catholic Church, represented by the ageless Grand Inquisitor (Luciano Montanaro).  By the opera’s conclusion, Rodrigo has taken a bullet for Carlo, Elisabetta is out of reach, and the Prince takes now permanent refuge under the shield of his grandfather, Carlo V, who has hidden himself away as a monk.

red

This is a big and very dark opera, in many ways Verdi’s grandest, that places great demands on its principals who are truly co-equals. The panoply of renaissance Spain, its holy war against the heretics, and the conflicts of larger-than-life characters demand no less than a heroic presentation.  This 2012 Teatro di Modena production features a number of singers who were new to this reviewer and whose performances constituted the proverbial mixed bag of results.

Tenor Malagnini makes a game effort but sounds effortful with wavering pitch in his first act aria (the only actual solo for Don Carlo); matters do not improve as the opera progresses. The leading women, Costea and Pozniak both deliver very creditable sings. Baritone Piazzola offers a solid if rather one-dimensional portrayal of Rodrigo Basses Prestia and Montanaro are most convincing in their pivotal roles. While Prestia’s voice lacks some of the orotund qualities of other Filippos that I have heard, he does convincing job in conveying the king’s heartache. Maestro Fabrizio Ventura keeps musical matters moving along nicely with excellent support for his singers.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

duo1

We are given some good sets and great period costumes that are well captured by the video crew under Tiziano Mancini’s experienced direction. Stage director Joseph Franconi Lee uses some large set pieces to offset the bareness of much of the scenes, mostly to good effect. However, closeups of the backdrops show some shoddy paint jobs.  Colors and details are excellent.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

eboli

The miked singers are well balanced with the orchestra and all of the vocal details, good, bad and indifferent are very clear.  There is modest ambience in the DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound track. The two-channel version is quite listenable if not as atmospheric.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

inq

There is 10-minute featurette about this opera and a synopsis with actual production scenes. The accompanying booklet gives a more detailed synopsis of each act, track titles and a background essay. C Major trailers of the Tutto Verdi series are included.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

die

Don Carlo is a monumental opera that requires a very large cast, making it difficult for most smaller houses to mount. This production has some very satisfying moments delivered by the majority of its principals and is very well conducted.  Although this is the lone Blu-ray entry for the moment, the video competition from the earlier DVDs is extremely stiff, led by James Levine’s Metropolitan Opera’s 1984 production with no less than Placido Domingo, Mirella Freni, Grace Bumbry and Nicolai Ghiaurov. The current release is satisfying on most counts but does not reach the performance or production level of most of its predecessors.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B0094AH3DE[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B0094AH3DE[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B0094AH3DE[/amazon-product]

rosary

eliz

duo2

stage1

stage2

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B0094AH3DE[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B0094AH3DE[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B0094AH3DE[/amazon-product]

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

 

 

Advertisement

Related Articles

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

A stunning 4K Ultra HD restoration of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy arrives.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
723FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

A stunning 4K Ultra HD restoration of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy arrives.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

2067 (Blu-ray Review)

With the world deforested and people dying from a deadly disease caused by synthetic oxygen, a quiet tunnel worker receives a message from the future and must save humanity in this uneven but watchable dystopian Aussie indie sci-fi thriller.
%d bloggers like this: