Don Carlos

Opera Now choice

'Verdi’s commission from the Paris Opera was for a five-act grand opera in the style of Meyerbeer or Halévy. However, in his enthusiasm, Verdi composed an opera that was, even for French taste, too long. As rehearsals progressed, it became necessary to make cuts, some of them substantial.
The eliminated music remained unheard and was forgotten until David Rosen and Andrew Porter began reassembling the opera according to Verdi’s original plan. Conceived by the BBC’s Chief Producer for radio, Julian Budden and with a Francophone cast, the 1973 BBC “restored” Don Carlos was a revelation.'

Opera Today

'The leads are French-speakers, and the BBC Concert orchestra, under John Matheson's leadership, sound impassioned and idiomatic. The women impress the most. Edith Tremblay's Elisabeth meets the role's challenges and captures both the beauty and pathos of her character… Michelle Vilma sings a fine Princess Eboli... Andre Turp's Don Carlos manages to be more of a put-upon hero than the annoying whiner the character can and has become with some other performers.'

'That Opera Rara has undertaken a series of 'Verdi Originals' is entirely praiseworthy... it has been prepared with care and published with a multilingual libretto...
The Guardian
'This is the first appearance on CD of the original French version of Verdi's exploration of the moral validity of political violence... It’s a hugely important document.'
The Guardian
Classical CD of the week

'Rita Hunter is... commanding; her massive soprano... is surprisingly flexible in coloratura, with a perfectly controlled trill.'
The Sunday Telegraph
'The 1881 version sounds generally... sombre. One thinks of the late Sesto Bruscantini mainly in buffo roles, but his Boccanegra shows he was capable of tragedy and nobility.'
Opera Now

'... a major addition to the Verdi discography.'