Swiss director Marco Arturo Marelli’s 2011 production of Verdi’s dark masterpiece is as Visually-striking in the first half as it is dull in the second. The minimalist set is an assemblage of thick moving walls that grind rather noisily into place. With their slate-like sheen and weighty physical stature, they resembled the walls of a fortress or prison yet open and close to depict the queen’s garden or the public square of the auto-da-fé. There are hardly any props, save a rather incongruous white cube that stands in for the tomb of Charles V.
Part of what makes Carlo such a great opera is that it seems to have it all: political intrigue; forbidden romance; friendship and sacrifice; a tyrannical monarch; burning heretics. Marelli’s production makes one feel what it lacks – humor. After some carefully orchestrated set pieces in the first two acts, including a striking and beautiful lit auto-da-fé, Marelli seems to run out of ideas. The airless and dull last two acts makes one wish that Verdi, who revisited the score on multiple occasions, had thrown in a laugh or two.
OCTOBER 2013: 31.
NOVEMBER 2013: 7., 10., 16., 24