'Don Carlo' -
'... a strong candidate for the library shelves.'
For anyone familiar with the five act version of Verdi's Don Carlo, the four act version comes as something of a shock. When he shortened the opera, Verdi dropped the whole of the first act (the Fontainebleau scene). But for musical and dramatic consistency he had to transfer Carlo's solo and Carlo and Elisabetta's duet to the new first act; this was partly to establish Carlo and Elisabetta's relationship but also because the music is referred to in later acts. So you get a strange mixture of the first and second acts of the five act version, with the consequence of sacrificing speed for coherence of drama.
I have never really understood the attraction of this four act version...
Copyright © 29 July 2011