(Don Carlo - Royal Opera House, Setembro de 2009)
«That great scene was wonderfully played by Simon Keenlyside (Rodrigo) and Ferruccio Furlanetto (Philip II). Furlanetto is that special breed of singing actor for whom gravitas is inbred. We see a broken man disintegrate before our eyes in his great act four aria; we feel his anger and defiance in the encounter with John Tomlinson's craggy Grand Inquisitor who manages to turn the word "Sire" into a condescending growl. These are credible portrayals. Less so Marianne Cornetti's indomitable Eboli; hers is a voice of considerable fire power, but she's hopelessly woolly in the lacy coloratura of her folksy Veil aria.
One of the most effective devices in Hytner's staging – and I still find the garish pop-up aspects of Bob Crowley's design alienating – is Carlo's isolation, the descending front cloth of ancestral tombs a constant reminder of his grandfather's weighty legacy. Jonas Kaufmann 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.
Marina Poplavskaya (Elizabeth), beautiful and intense on stage, is not a natural Verdian, the voice too white and unyielding, the lack of through-phrasing conspicuously unidiomatic. But in the perfect symmetry of their first and last encounters there was a real frisson between she and Kaufmann. The numbing pianissimo of their final moments together carried such regret and resignation as to unlock the very heart of a great piece.»
«New to the cast are Jonas Kaufmann's Carlo, Marianne Cornetti's Eboli and John Tomlinson's Inquisitor. Cornetti, hogging the high notes and doing nothing with the character, is the evening's main vocal drawback. Tomlinson, on the other hand, scares you half to death with every utterance. And Kaufmann is outstanding, whether braving the rages of Ferruccio Furlanetto's tragic Philip, swooning over Marina Poplavskaya's Elisabetta, or getting political with Simon Keenlyside's finely acted, if undersung Posa.»
Ainda por terras londrinas, no caso deste Don Carlo - contrariamente a Le Grand Macabre -, o elenco é a vedeta. Quando Carlo é Jonas Kaufmann, Rodrigo é interpretado por Keenlyside e Furlanetto veste a pele de Filippo II, tudo o resto é (quase) irrelevante...