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Your Reaction: What did you think of Verdi's Don Carlo?

Audience and press reviews of The Royal Opera's staging of Verdi’s opera on love, ambition and intrigue in 16th-century Spain.

By Asher Korner (Former Assistant Content Producer)

15 May 2017 at 4.09pm | 14 Comments

Press reviews:
Evening Standard ★★★★
Financial Times ★★★
Times (£) ★★★
Bachtrack ★★★
The Stage ★★★
Guardian ★★★
Telegraph ★★★
Independent ★★★
What'sOnStage ★★★

What did you think of Don Carlo?
Share your thoughts via the comments below.

Don Carlo runs until 29 May 2017. Tickets are still available.

The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from Aud Jebsen, The Taylor Family Foundation, Simon and Virginia Robertson, the Patrons of Covent Garden and The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund.

By Asher Korner (Former Assistant Content Producer)

15 May 2017 at 4.09pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Giuseppe Verdi, by Nicholas Hytner, Don Carlo, Production, review, your reaction

This article has 14 comments

  1. Sebastian Petit responded on 16 May 2017 at 4:43pm Reply

    Terribly feeble Grand Inquisitor...

  2. Ann O'Shaughnessy responded on 21 May 2017 at 11:05am Reply

    I saw this on Monday May 15. I have seen this production several times before with better casts (Kaufmann, Villazon, Keenlyside and Poplavskaya) but the voices I missed most were those of Ferruccio Furnaletto and Eric Hallvarson. Kristin Lewis improved as the night went on and her singing in Act V was delightful. However, the outstanding lady was, for me, Ekaterina Semenchuk - a Princess Eboli to remember. Christoph Pohl's Posa was the best male performance of the night. Changes made to some scenery were an improvement, were any needed, on previous performances I have seen. But, as is always the case with Don Carlo, the music was the overall winner. Please keep this production - it is stunning.

  3. In my view one of the greatest operas ever written, and I always end up engaged - but I DID miss the Furlanetto/Halvorson combo, and I DO like flames with my Auto da Fe!!
    Christoph Pohl a noble Posa.

  4. PS. Wonderful cello playing!!

  5. David O'Brien responded on 22 May 2017 at 2:34pm Reply

    Kristen Lewis was a real find. A bit erratic, but a great presence on stage,exciting and she acts with conviction. Hymel gets better and better, and his scenes with Ms Lewis took fire both musically and theatrically. The staging looks good, and makes sense of the piece, so has a lot of mileage left in it. But why, with an long opera requiring an earlier than usual start, did the schedulers plan five performances only on Mondays and Fridays? Some of us work. This should have had at least one Saturday performance.

  6. Anita Cadogan responded on 23 May 2017 at 2:06pm Reply

    I saw this opera for the first time and was unsure of what to expect I have no other performances of Don Carlo to judge it by so for me it was a winner and would definitely see again. Absolutely loved it.

  7. Chris Caulfield responded on 24 May 2017 at 8:10pm Reply

    Seeing it on Friday Anita.

  8. Jess responded on 30 May 2017 at 8:19am Reply

    [This comment has been edited as per our community standards]

    Beyond disappointed that Kristin Lewis was allegedly taken ill on 29 May right before the performance. I say allegedly because we were told she had been taken "to hospital" yet there were 2 paramedics hanging around - and they stayed for the short impromptu consolation "performance" we were given. If they had taken her to hospital as we were told, they would not be hanging around the opera. While she obviously was unwell, I do not believe she was taken to hospital.

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 1 June 2017 at 11:47am

      Hi Jess,

      Sorry for the disappointment. I'm afraid to say Kristin Lewis was indeed rushed to hospital, which is why the performance was refunded and a short performance of highlights was given. The medical staff you saw watching the performance may have been members of the St John Ambulance; we always have two paramedics on hand for every performance to assist in the case of unexpected medical emergency.

      Hope that clears things up, and again, please accept our apologies for what is a very unusual situation.

      Many thanks,


  9. Kenneth Leadbeater responded on 30 May 2017 at 12:07pm Reply

    Don Carlo - 29 May 2017
    Kristen Lewis rushed to hospital from her dressing room
    Performance cancelled

    It was very depressing to receive an announcement from the stage by an anonymous lady (who failed to introduce herself) that the performance had been cancelled.

    A little more reflection and less "headless chickens" and the Royal Opera might have sorted out a better solution.

    We were given a full refund and treated to an excerpts programme without Elisabetta. BUT - we lost the whole of Act IV, in which Elisabetta only sings for 10 out of 45 minutes, including King Philip's aria, the Grand Inquisitor scene, O Don Fatale and both of Rodrigo's arias, none of which involve Elisabetta.

    It was incredibly frustrating and hurtful, particularly as the performance level was so high. This solution was insulting both to the audience and the singers. Paata Burchuladze did not even get on stage.

    The primary fault lies with senior management, who were nowhere to be seen, either before the performance or after the performance. But then it was a bank holiday.

    The front of house manager dealt sympathetically and bravely with a crowd of distressed patrons after the brief show.

    Ironic that this happened on the same day that British Airways took so much flak for failing to provide its senior management to face up to public criticism.

    Time for the Royal Opera senior management to become accountable and answerable to the paying and taxpaying public.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 30 May 2017 at 4:02pm

      Hi Kenneth,

      Thanks for your comments and very sorry to disappoint you yesterday. As you'll be aware, The Royal Opera were unable to proceed with the performance as Kristin Lewis, who was due to sing the lead role of Elizabeth of Valois, was taken ill very shortly before the performance and required hospital treatment. With this being a unique situation, as you state, a performance of highlights from Don Carlo is being given and full refunds offered.

      We'd like to thank everyone in the audience for their understanding and, as I'm sure you do, wish Kristin Lewis a quick recovery.



  10. Tom responded on 31 May 2017 at 8:57pm Reply

    I brought a party of seven from Gloucestershire to the ROH on Monday 29 May. I was the only one who had seen the opera before, having started with the Luc Bondy Don Carlos. While we were disappointed not to have seen the whole opera we all felt very grateful for what was achieved in view of the difficult circumstances and we all look forward to the next opportunity to see Don Carlo(s), hopefully without any replacements.

  11. David Etherington responded on 7 June 2017 at 10:47am Reply

    I attended the cancelled performance on Monday 29th. What is the procedure for obtaining a refund? I booked by Credit Card.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 7 June 2017 at 2:47pm

      Hi David,

      Please contact our Box Office on (0)20 7304 4000 - they'll be able to assist you with this.



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