Conductor: Philippe Jordan. Production: Krzysztof Warlikowski. Sets: Małgorzata Szczęśniak. Lighting:
Felice Ross. Video: Denis Guéguin. Philippe II: Ildar Abdrazakov. Don
Carlos: Jonas Kaufmann. Rodrigue: Ludovic Tézier. Le grand inquisiteur: Dmitry Belosselskiy. Élisabeth
de Valois: Sonya Yoncheva. La princesse Eboli: Elīna Garanča. Thibault: Eve-Maud Hubeaux. Députés
flamands: Tiago Matos, Michal Partyka, Mikhail Timoshenko, Tomasz Kumiega, Andrei Filonczyk,
Daniel Giulianini. Une voix d'en haut: Silga Tīruma. Le comte de Lerme: Julien Dran. Un héraut royal:
Hyun-Jong Roh. Le moine: Krzysztof Baczyk. Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra National de Paris.
For various reasons, the Paris Opera's new Don Carlos had the buzz of a special occasion - something you could feel in the air in the lobbies and not just because sponsor Rolex's guests were unusually dressy.
For a start, marking the 150th anniversary of the work's premiere in Par…
Conductor: Mikko Franck. Elektra: Nina Stemme. Klytemnestra: Waltraud Meier. Chrysotemis: Gun-Brit Barkmin. Orest: Matthias Goerne. Ägisth: Norbert Ernst. Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Choeur de Radio France.
A super strong Elektra at the Philharmonie last Friday night.
First of all, Mikko Franck was painstakingly attentive to the score. There are subtleties and details that don’t always make it over the edge of the opera house pit. But here, in a concert hall, with the Philharmonique on remarkable form, they were magnificently laid out in the open for all to hear. Franck’s approach leaned pointedly towards the late romantic: towards the Alpine Symphony, I thought; “towards Wagner,” said a colleague present the same evening. At any rate, more in the 19th-century symphonic tradition than paroxystic expressionism looking forward to, say Wozzeck (which is perhaps how I like Elektra best: wild and exhausting).
Conductor: Alain Altinoglu. Production: Olivier Py. Sets and costumes: Pierre-André Weitz. Lighting: Bertrand Killy. Heinrich der Vogler: Gabor Bretz. Lohengrin: Eric Cutler. Elsa von Brabant: Ingela Brimberg. Friedrich von Telramund: Andrew Foster-Williams. Ortrud: Elena Pankratova. Heerrufer: Werner Van Mechelen. Vier Brabantische Edle: Zeno Popescu, Willem Van Der Heyden, Kurt Gysen, Bertrand Duby. Edelknaben: Raphaële Green, Isabelle Jacques, Virginie Léonard, Lisa Willems. La Monnaie Orchestra and Chorus.
As a persistent opera-goer, however loudly you applaud Bieito or Warlikowski and however assiduously you seek out new works, you get used to being dismissed as a hidebound fuddy-duddy. And some directors also give the impression they think you're thick and need things spelling out. In the case of Olivier Py, this is often literally the case: his chalk bills must be huge, so often do his characters scrawl things on the walls then th…