Verdi: Don Carlo (In French) - Vanzo, Bonnet, Macaux, Despraz, Bianco; Bruck. France, 1961
Listen to a Sample:
- Although the names in this cast might not jump out to you immediately, there are a lot of reasons to add this performance to your collection if you are a Don Carlo fan. For one thing, it is a rare performance of the work in French, but using the 1884 version premiered in Milan, not the original Paris version.
- Alain Vanzo is superb in the title role as is René Bianco as Posa and Xavier Depraz as Filippo II (the latter treating us to a thrilling Filippo/Inquisitor scene with the help of Jacques Mars.)
- Conductor Charles Buck favors slower tempos than I am used to, but I found the approach worked well, helping to bring clarity of text without bogging down the dramatic flow. It would not be my "desert island" interpretation but I still took something new from it.
- Vocally, Germaine Bonnet is not really up to the task as Elisabeth.
- Although cuts in this opera during the 1960s were fairly common, the ones used in this performance are downright draconian.