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Opera in four acts
Libretto by Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle, after Schiller
English translation by Andrew Porter
COMPACT DISC ONE
Scene 1: At the tomb of Charles V in the Monastery of San Juste
'Charles the Fifth, our mighty Lord'
Chorus of Friars, Old Monk
'And I have lost her!'
Don Carlos, Old Monk
'There he is! The Prince!'
'But the King has not yet discovered your secret?'
Rodrigo, Don Carlos
'God who has brought us together'
Don Carlos, Rodrigo, Chorus of Friars, Old Monk
Scene 2: A garden outside the cloister
'Where the pine grove is green and shady'
Chorus, Thibault, Eboli
'In the marble palace of the Moorish King'
Eboli, Thibault, Chorus
Chorus, Eboli, Elisabeth, Thibault, Rodrigo
'I'm so eager to hear the news you bring'
Eboli, Rodrigo, Elisabeth
'Carlos my friend, hope of our future'
Rodrigo, Eboli, Elisabeth
'I come before the Queen and I ask for a favour'
'Here where I stand let the earth crack asunder'
Don Carlos, Elisabeth
Thibault, Philip, Chorus
'Don't weep, my dear companion'
Elisabeth, Rodrigo, Philip, Chorus
'Remain here! I've seen you at my court'
'O King, I come here from Flanders'
'What kind of peace is this you give your subjects?'
Total time: 62:06
COMPACT DISC TWO
Scene 1: The Queen's garden
'At midnight in the garden of the Queen…'
Don Carlos, Eboli
'Alas your youthful mind has no idea'
Eboli, Don Carlos, Rodrigo
'Now he has scorned the love I gave him'
'Treacherous son, adult'rous lover'
Eboli, Rodrigo, Don Carlos
Scene 2: A square in front of the Vallodolid Cathedral, Auto da Fé
'Today is a day of gladness and joy'
Chorus of People, Chorus of Monks
'Let the sacred doors now be opened'
Royal Herald, Chorus of People, Philip
'O Heav'n! It's Carlos!'
Elisabeth, Rodrigo, Philip, Don Carlos, Flemish Deputies, Chorus of Monks, Thibault
'Sire! I have something to ask you!'
Don Carlos, Philip, Elisabeth, Rodrigo, Thibault, Monks, Chorus of People
Elisabeth, Don Carlos, Chorus of People, Philip, Monks, Voice from Heaven, Flemish Deputies
Total time: 34:08
COMPACT DISC THREE
Scene1: The King's study in the Escurial
'She has no love for me!'
'I'll only sleep when I am laid to rest'
'The Grand Inquisitor'
Count of Lerma, Grand Inquisitor, Philip
'In this land of Spain no heresy has thrived'
Grand Inquisitor, Philip
'Your highness I ask for justice!'
'You know full well, my hand was plighted'
Elisabeth, Philip, Eboli, Rodrigo
'Accurst be this hour'
Philip, Eboli, Rodrigo, Elisabeth
'Forgive! Forgive and pardon a woman who's wronged you'
'Oh cruel fate. O hated gift'
Scene 2: A prison
'I'm here my Carlos'
Rodrigo, Don Carlos
'My last day has dawned forever'
'But why do you speak of death?'
Don Carlos, Rodrigo
'O Carlos, now listen, your mother awaits you'
'Now I die, die contented'
'My son I return you your sword'
Philip, Don Carlos, Chorus, Chorus of People, Count of Lerma, Grandees of Spain, Eboli, Grand Inquisitor
At the tomb of Charles V
'You, who spurned and renounced all the world'
'France, my noble land, so dear to me in childhood!'
Don Carlos, Elisabeth
'We shall meet not in this world'
Elisabeth, Don Carlos
'Yes, for ever! A double sacrifice is needed!'
Philip, Grand Inquisitor, Elisabeth, Don Carlos, Old Monk, Chorus of Monks
Total time: 71:15
Solo: Alastair Miles bass - Philip II
Solo: Julian Gavin tenor - Don Carlos
Solo: William Dazeley baritone - Rodrigo
Solo: John Tomlinson bass - The Grand Inquisitor
Solo: Janice Watson soprano - Elisabeth de Valois
Solo: Jane Dutton mezzo-soprano - Princess of Eboli
Solo: Julia Sporsén soprano - Thibault
Solo: Stephen Briggs tenor - Count of Lerma
Solo: Clive Bayley bass - An old Monk
Solo: Rebecca Ryan soprano - Voice from Heaven
Solo: Campbell Russell tenor - Royal Herald
Solo: Julian Close bass - Flemish Deputy
Solo: Grant Doyle baritone - Flemish Deputy
Solo: Stephen Richardson bass - Flemish Deputy
Solo: Galloway Bell bass - Flemish Deputy
Solo: Stephen Dowson baritone - Flemish Deputy
Conductor: Alexander Ingram (Assistant)
Conductor: Richard Farnes
26-30 May 2009
VERDI: DON CARLOS
Based on Schiller’s play Don Carlos, Verdi’s magnificent and arguably greatest opera has everything: deeply felt personal passion and pain intertwined in the web of political and religious agendas – utterly relevant to today and superbly expressed in a score of gripping intensity. The recording, made in Leeds Town Hall during Opera North’s May / June production run, has a stellar cast including Janice Watson, Alastair Miles and Sir John Tomlinson with Richard Farnes conducting. The Observer commented on the performance: ‘The work came alive as never before, its passionate exchanges between king, son, stepmother and loyal friends all the more incandescent, an endorsement for the Peter Moores “Opera in English” series on Chandos, who recorded this Don Carlos for future release.’
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“… Don Carlos has never seemed so grand a tragedy as it does on this set.” Fred Cohn
Opera News (USA) - July 2010
“…The cast is a strong one… Ensemble work is a consistent high point in its tight-knit vocal interplay… The conductor, Richard Farnes, is a truly exciting discovery, directing his forces to the manner born… Choral work is excellent and the orchestra superbly responsive to everything he asks for…”
Fanfare - May/June 2010
The performance, especially from an orchestral perspective, provides an absorbing listen and will certainly find favour from those getting to know the work. Richard Farnes elicits a response from the Orchestra of Opera North that is strong in theatrical terms and is spaciously and atmospherically recorded " "The orchestra is on fine form, at times superb."
Alastair Miles’s Philip II is a more fiery interpretation of the King than many others in recorded terms, and he really sings off the words and brings the character to theatrical life – he’s certainly helped by Farnes’s fluid and generally fast tempos. "the encounter with John Tomlinson’s terrifyingly implacable and vocally imposing Grand Inquisitor is the highlight "
"Clive Bayley also provides an ideal vocal contrast as the mysterious monk, recorded in an acoustic that sounds just like a church cloister."
"Janice Watson is a strong Elisabeth, with attractive and creamy tone, and she delivers set-piece arias with considerable aplomb. She has a ’sad’ quality to her tone that makes her effective as the unhappy but regal Queen "
"Jane Dutton’s fiery and forceful Eboli is satisfying, best in the more dramatic and declamatory moments " "this is an exciting issue, most remarkable for the compelling contributions of Alastair Miles and for Richard Farnes’s refreshingly non-fussy and non-indulgent reading of the score. The excellent packaging and booklet is all one would from expect from Chandos.
“Opera North have much of which they can be proud. Under Richard Farnes, the orchestral playing will stand comparison with the acknowledged best. The strings achieve admirable precision and beauty of tone …The style also impresses as bearing the imprint of a genuine Verdi conductor with playing where, at times, one feels as though the instruments are contributing their own apt dialogue to the drama …”
Gramophone - April 2010
“The opera is thrillingly conducted by Richard Farnes, for whom the orchestra and chorus play and sing their hearts out, and the recording – in Leeds Town Hall – captures the grandeur and intimacy. Julian Gavin’s Carlos grows in stature. William Dazeley’s Posa has a heroic ring and Janice Watson’s Elisabeth is one of her best performances. As King Philip, Alastair Miles is regal and human against John Tomlinson’s sinister Grand Inquisitor.”
The Sunday Telegraph - 21 February 2010
“…this is a significant release, as we have never had a version sung in English. This is especially welcome, particularly as it is in Andrew Porter’s excellent translation, which strikes me as one of the most successful I have heard of a Verdi opera.
A further real strength of this recording lies in the superb conducting of Richard Farnes and the playing of the Orchestra of Opera North. It plays with real punch …
This is a Don Carlos well worth exploring for its translation, its singing and excellent conducting…”
International Record Review - December 2009
“The central relationships are full of passion, the conducting is full-blooded, and the huge auto-da-fé scene feels terrifyingly spectacular.”
Classic FM Magazine - January 2010
“… this is a well-integrated, cleanly delineated performance of Don Carlos in its truncated four-act version, based on performances given last year by Opera North. The cast is good overall, but the outstanding element is Richard Farness’s forceful and vivid conducting of a finely responsive orchestra.”
The Telegraph - 28 November 2009
“Best of the principles are Alastair Mile’s distinctive King Philip; John Tomlinson’s terrifying Grand Inquisitor and Clive Bayley’s Monk. Opera North’s choral and orchestral forces are both splendid, and conductor Richard Farnes process a superb interpreter of the score. The scale and perspective of the recording are beautifully managed.”
Performance ****/Recording ****
BBC Music Magazine - Christmas Edition 2009
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