Russell Thomas Leads Metropolitan Opera’s ‘Don Carlo’

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

Verdi’s “Don Carlo” is set to return to the Metropolitan Opera for nine performances in the four-act Italian version.

The opera, which is set to be performed between Nov. 3 and Dec. 3, 2022 will star Russell Thomas in the title role. Interestingly, Thomas will sing “Don Carlo” at the Met for the first time, 17 years after his Met debut in the same work, then in the role of the Royal Herald.

Eleonora Buratto and Angela Meade will share the role of Elisabetta di Valois alongside baritone Peter Mattei as Rodrigo, and bass Günther Groissböck as Filippo II. Bass-baritone John Relyea reprises his role as the Grand Inquisitor and mezzo-soprano Yulia Matochkina as Eboli,

Maestro Carlo Rizzi will conduct the opera. In an interview Rizzi spoke of the four-act version noting, I think that in the four-act Italian version, the lack of this act is a weakness because we don’t understand clearly why Carlo is so obsessed with having lost Elisabetta, and the only thing to do is to really use every word at the beginning, when Carlo comes on stage, to portray his desperation and underline the fact that they’ve been lovers only for one day and she’s been taken away. This is clear in his aria “Io la vidi” and this aria is very interesting: although it’s written in a very lyrical way, it’s also very critical of his father, he said that the person who kidnapped his love is the king, his father. This is what we’re working on with Russell Thomas because this is the only moment where the audience can understand why there is a lot of history between Carlo and Elisabetta that we actually don’t see in this version.”

The opera is set to broadcast on Nov. 3, 15, and 30, 2022 on the Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM Channel 355. A fall performance of “Don Carlo” will also be rebroadcast on Feb. 18, 2023, over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.