Same production as in 2003. First I am a little bit thinking, why this opera again, or this production. Carlo Rizzi's fault I think or the orchestra, the Prelude doesn't sound quite right, I am not happy. The chorus and the Frate (Tomasz Slawinski) is too weak to make any impact. Jose Cura as Don Carlo is already there prostrate at the monastery. This time he is not twitching as much as Don Carlo, he is almost a normal man. "I'ho perduta" is sung but not with his beautiful voice, he is too throaty, at least in the beginning. Leo Nucci comes in as Rodrigo di Posa. They are usually wonderful together, but I still finds flaws. So things are not starting as well as I wish, but maybe it is not Jose's or Leo Nucci's fault, it is the weak bass of the the Frate and the other monks. They are not setting the mood right. Yeah, that's it.
Next scene. The Queen's Garden. Finally the women is singing wonderful setting the right mood. And then she comes, Luciana d'Intino as Eboli. And finally perfect singing. Much better than in 2003. I still find her voice a bit too low or dark. I miss the lightness of Baltsa. BRAVA, Luciana! Joanna Kozlowska comes in next as the queen, Elisabeth de Valois. She is wonderful as the demure queen. The Grande of Spagna, Rodrigo di Posa, Leo Nucci is announced, he carries a letter from the queen mother, but also a note from Carlo. The trio is wonderful, at least Leo Nucci and Luciana d'Intino can sing and act at the same time. Nucci is very playful. Then Elisabeth and Carlo will meet alone, not the thing done in the Spanish court: Jose Cura and Joanna Kozlowska. Beautiful to it staged in a strange way. The King Matti Salminen come and sees his queen all alone... But her wonderful aria "Non pianger, mia compagna" is however beautiful sung not really sung or acted with any understanding of the moment, her best / only friend is being banished from the court, when the king finds the queen alone, humiliating his queen in public. First the aria starts with a quick walked to the other side of the stage with the Countess of Aremburg, but this is nonsensical, and while her friend is crying, this queen looks at the ceiling, it is very awkward. After having insulted his wife, this King Filip II Matti Salminen wants to talk to his Grande de Spagna, Rodrigo de Posa, Leo Nucci. Great duet, but this Posa is really crazy talking like that to his king, difficult to understand why Filip is so understanding. But the singing and acting was superb.
Act 2. Scene 1. A perfect wonderful scene, with Don Carlo Jose Cura believing Eboli Luciana d Intino is Elisabeth. Then Eboli find out, rages, and Rodrigo Leo Nucci tries to save Don Carlo. Absolutely gorgeous singing and acting.
Act 2 Scene 2 Auto-da-fe scene. Wonderful singing acting but really already worn out since 2003, no real shock here for the audience, so somebody is going to be burnt alive, nope, no feeling there. Don Carlo is threatening his father, no nothing there either. They even forgets to arrest Don Carlo, who almost killed his father. No, no, maybe it is our war of terror that are making an auto-da-fe just the everyday thing.
Act 3. The great Matti Salminen as Filip II, what could be better. Unfortunately he is getting old and his voice is not really heavy enough any more. Not saying he sang "Ella giammai m'amo" perfectly and acted very well. The when the Grand Inquisitor Pavel Daniluk came, it really never was a doubt who would win this duel / duet. Daniluk had the bigger voice, and Salminen had no chance. Then when Elisabeth Joanna Kozlowska came in and there was another duet. Good, but not great as in 2003 with Colombara and Prokina. Then Elisabeth faints and in burst Posa and Eboli. The duet between Elisabeth and Eboli is wonderful singing. But there is too little acting from Kozkowska and too much from d'Intino. But when Luciana d Intino is left solo, there is another triumph for her, "O don fatale" is a smash hit.
Act 3 Scene 2. Don Carlo is in prison and Rodrigo comes to visit. Rodrigo's death. Filip II come to let Carlo out of prison, and finds out that the wrong man has been executed. The people rebels, want the Infante, Don Carlo free from prison. Inquisitor and Filip quells the rebellion and all is prostrate. Don Carlo Jose Cura, Posa Leo Nucci, Filippo II Matti Salminen, Grossinquisitor Pavel Daniluk are all doing great in this scene.
Act 4. Finally Joanna Kozlowska is redeeming herself and making some wonderful singing and acting. The duet with Jose Cura is wonderful. And they both somehow "survive" (monastery) when Filip and Gran Inquisitore want's a double sacrifice.