Verdi’s Don Carlo at the Washington National Opera

Verdi’s “Don Carlo” was originally written for the Paris Opera, as a grand opera in five acts, with all the spectacle audiences expected from the form. One can’t fault companies today for economizing, but must new productions be as relentlessly and monotonously ugly as the one that opened at the Washington National Opera last night? Grand opera wasn’t just a musical or dramatic endeavor, it was a fundamentally visual art form. Producers need not conform to the specific scenic requirements in the libretto, but neither should they ignore the basic visual parameters, the sequence of light and dark, public and private, internal and external spaces.

Fortunately, this run of the opera has a strong cast, and it has Philippe Auguin at the helm of the orchestra. There is more psychological nuance in his rendering of the score than there is any of the mostly clumsy staging by Tim Albery. It is terribly sad that Auguin has been forced out of the company.

 

Here’s my review for The Washington Post.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s