* Notes *
The opening of Don Carlo at Opéra national de Paris was a bit slapdash. Graham Vick's production had some attractive elements, but lost a lot of tension in the drama because of how slow scene changes were. This was not helped by the two intermissions for four acts. Tobias Hoheisel's costumes were ostentatious in contrast to his rather sedate set, but these were pulled together by the lighting, designed by Matthew Richardson.
The orchestra was not bad under Carlo Rizzi, the cello solo in Act III was great, for instance. The brass was harsh, but only had a few bad notes, especially during the fanfares in Act II. All the singing was solid, however, including the chorus. Luciana D'Intino (Eboli) sang her first aria rather robustly, and she produces a full tone when she is singing all out. Sometimes she was a bit thin, perhaps it has to do with the different parts of her voice. Sondra Radvanovsky sounded both icy and sweet as Elisabetta, her "Non pianger, mia compagna" in Act I, Scene 2 was especially lovely.
Ludovic Tézier did well as Rodrigo, his "Dio, che nell'alma infondere" with Stefano Secco (Don Carlo) was very fine. At other times he was overwhelmed by the orchestra, but really turned it out for "Per me giunto è il di supreme" at the end. Secco had enough volume for the most part, though he was difficult to hear in a few places, notably in the last act, when the staging required that he stand upstage, away from Elisabetta. At first, Giacomo Prestia was lackluster as Felipe II, sounding pitchy. However, his "Ella giammai m'amò" was appropriately woeful, yet imposing.
* Tattling *
The audience was a little restless, and there was a bit of whispering. Someone rustled cellophane and was admonished twice before she ceased her discourteous behavior.