Following the 2021 online premiere of the five-act, Modena version of Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece directed by Frank Hilbrich is now presented in front of live audiences at the refurbished Opera House. Due to the illness of Matthew Polenzani, the series beginning on 5 June 2022 features Carlo Ventre and Adroján Pataki in the title role. The ensembles of the OPERA are conducted by Leonardo Sini.
"16th-century Spain. State and church are engaged in a ruthless and devastating struggle for dominance over the people. Every rebellion and every attempt to establish a humane social order is strangled at birth. Humanistic ideals are doomed to death from the start, and those professing them find themselves being burnt at the stake by the Inquisition. The greatest victim in all of this is none other than the king’s son, the prince Don Carlo. He is the one who dares to love, to step up for the freedom of the oppressed people and to challenge both the church and the state, shaking up their system of power."
This is the take of Frank Hilbrich, the director of the production, who has long been recognised across the German-speaking world, earned his international reputation chiefly with Wagnerian productions, as well as with contemporary operas. The sets of the new production rich in symbolism were designed by Volker Thiele, the costumes evoking the trends of present day were created by Gabriele Ruprecht.
Due to Matthew Polenzani's illness, the title role on 5, 8 and 18 June is performed by Uruguay-born tenor Carlo Ventre, who has already appeared in the 2019 Cavalleria rusticana production of the OPERA on Maragret Island and is to appear in this year's Andrea Chénier performances starting on 10 June. On 11 and 18 June, the role of Don Carlo is sung by Adorján Pataki, a member of the Cluj-Napoca Hungarian Opera, who has also been a recurring guest at the Hungarian State Opera for a decade. Further cast includes internationally acclaimed Hungarian soloists András Palerdi as Filippo II, Csaba Szegedi as Posa, Erika Gál as Eboli, Géza Gábor as Grand Inquisitor, Zsuzsanna Ádám as Elisabeth, and Sándor Köpeczi as Monk. The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra and Chorus (chorus master: Gábor Csiki) are conducted by Leonardo Sini, winner of the prestigious Maestro Solti International Conducting Competition in 2017.
Photo by Valter Berecz