Claustrophobic and Intense Don Carlo

The first time I tried to watch Willy Decker’s 2004 production of Verdi’s Don Carlo at De Nederlandse Opera I failed to get past Rolando Villaz√≥n in doublet and hose. To anyone familiar with British TV comedy of a certain era the resemblance is just too close and I couldn’t get beyond the idea of Stephen Fry as Felipe II and Miranda Richardson as Elisabetta. This time around I watched the highly illuminating video introduction and read Wily Decker’s useful essay on his production concept before tackling the piece proper. I’m glad I did that and I’m glad I came back to this recording because it is very fine and it was very useful to have Decker and Chailly’s perspectives on the dramaturgy and the music.

Continue reading