It is rare for a production to be better cast in repertory than at its premiere, but precisely that is the case with the Deutsche Oper Berlin’s current revival of Marco Arturo Marelli’s 2011 production of Don Carlo, which kicks off a month-long Verdi marathon. On Thursday night, the first of the revival’s five performances, it was overall better sung, acted and more emotionally satisfying. Back in 2011, when this production was fresh, I described the singing as “serviceable but rarely exciting.” Much credit goes to Anja Hareteros, originally supposed to sing Elisabeth at the premiere. When she finally took up the role for the first time in Berlin, she more than rewarded our patience. She sang with an exciting combination of virtuosity and vocal refinement, precisely calibrating her versatile voice to produce a range of coloristic effects, supple legato phrasings and, when called for, ringing full-throated attacks. At her side, the young American tenor Russell Thomas made a a heroic role debut (in 2011, Carlo was sung by a less than persuasive Massimo Giordano), singing with convincing Italianate lyricism and vocal heft that brought Pavarotti to mind on several occasions. The initial incongruity of a couple composed of a heavy-set black tenor and a svelte German soprano was immediately forgotten by the singers’ convincing onstage chemistry. Despite his odd get-up (he looked like a cross between Trotsky and a satanist) , Dalibor Jenis cut a noble profile as Rodrigo. An immeasurable improvement over Boaz Daniel, who originally sung the role, he sang with decisive and evenly-sustained notes, although he sometimes needed a few moments to warm up. The aptly-named Hans-Peter König was regal and terrifying as Philipp II, projecting his character’s villainy and torment with his creamy and sonorous bass. Violeta Urmana was a fine, accomplished Eboli, although I missed the quirky, less Diva-ish touches of Anna Smirnova, the Eboli of two seasons ago. In the pit, Runnicles and his band made sure that the drama never lagged with beautiful highlighted obligatti and propulsive ostinati. The well-prepared chorus went for broke, although the visually-striking mise-en-scène of the auto-de-fe, with a fairly-open stage and the chorus singing on-top of moving sets, rendered their contribution a little under-amplified. And speaking of sets, the assemblage of thick moving walls that make up this production still grind rather noisily into place. In a perfect world, the remaining four performances should sell out.
Do 7. November 201319:00 Uhr/ C-Preise: € 90,– / 72,– / 50,– / 29,– / Karten kaufen