Verdi: Don Carlo - Domingo, M. Price, Obraztsova, Bruson, Nesterenko, Roni; Abbado. Milano, 1977
Listen to a Sample:
In the seventies new music was discovered from the Paris premiere of Don Carlo and it became in fashion to present it complete (a stark change from earlier in which this opera was often severely cut.) Claudio Abbado mounted this production during his legendary reign at La Scala. The cast assembles was supposed to have been Mirella Freni and José Carreras but contractual agreements with Karajan meant that replacements had to be found. And what replacements! Placido Domingo assumes the daunting title role. Listening to this performance you really appreciate not only the fact that he would sing such a long (and some say thankless) role but the energy he brings to every moment he is on stage. Margaret Price sings Elisabetta, a role seemed tailor made for her voice. I have never heard a voice of her size with such purity of tone. Elena Obraztsova was famous for going over the top and this performance is no exception. Her voice is wild and her "O Don fatale" nearly stops the show. The sound is very good although I had to take off half a star because there is a hiss throughout.