December 14, 2003
Way back in November 2003 I attended a couple performances of Don Carlos at San Francisco Opera. They did a five act French version, which is unusual. The two leads, Marina Mescheriakova as Elisabeth and Mark Duffin as Don Carlos, were not particularly impressive. The former was shrill and stiff, the latter was too quiet. Bo Skovhus (Rodrigue) was solid as always, though his movements were somewhat arachnid-like. Violeta Urmana (Princess Eboli) was excellent, her voice was strong and fiery. Her acting was also very good.
The sets and costumes were pretty but not particularly exciting. I found the auto-da-fe to be overly stylized, instead of burning the victims alive, they have them attached to wires and they float away.