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CHAN 3162M
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Opera In English Logo
CHAN 3162
(multiple CD Set)

Verdi: Don Carlos

The Classical Shop
release date: November 2009

Originally recorded in 2009


Opera North Orchestra

Richard Farnes

Alexander Ingram


Stephen Dowson

baritone - Flemish Deputy

Grant Doyle

baritone - Flemish Deputy

William Dazeley

baritone - Rodrigo

Clive Bayley

bass - An old Monk

Stephen Richardson

bass - Flemish Deputy

Galloway Bell

bass - Flemish Deputy

Julian Close

bass - Flemish Deputy

Alastair Miles

bass - Philip II

John Tomlinson

bass - The Grand Inquisitor

Jane Dutton

mezzo-soprano - Princess of Eboli

Janice Watson

soprano - Elisabeth de Valois

Julia Sporsén

soprano - Thibault

Rebecca Ryan

soprano - Voice from Heaven

Stephen Briggs

tenor - Count of Lerma

Julian Gavin

tenor - Don Carlos

Campbell Russell

tenor - Royal Herald

Opera North Chorus


Leeds Town Hall


Brian Pidgeon

Brian Couzens



Ralph Couzens

Jonathan Cooper


Record Label
Opera In English


Opera in English

Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 166:35
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Don Carlos

  Opera in four acts  
  Libretto by Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle, after Schiller  
  English translation by Andrew Porter  
  Act I  
  Scene 1: At the tomb of Charles V in the Monastery of San Juste  
1 Prelude 2:17
2 'Charles the Fifth, our mighty Lord' 4:01
  Chorus of Friars, Old Monk  
3 'And I have lost her!' 4:09
  Don Carlos, Old Monk  
4 'There he is! The Prince!' 2:39
5 'But the King has not yet discovered your secret?' 1:19
  Rodrigo, Don Carlos  
6 'God who has brought us together' 4:18
  Don Carlos, Rodrigo, Chorus of Friars, Old Monk  
  Scene 2: A garden outside the cloister  
7 'Where the pine grove is green and shady' 3:17
  Chorus, Thibault, Eboli  
8 'In the marble palace of the Moorish King' 4:27
  Eboli, Thibault, Chorus  
9 'The Queen!' 1:52
  Chorus, Eboli, Elisabeth, Thibault, Rodrigo  
10 'I'm so eager to hear the news you bring' 1:57
  Eboli, Rodrigo, Elisabeth  
11 'Carlos my friend, hope of our future' 4:27
  Rodrigo, Eboli, Elisabeth  
12 'I come before the Queen and I ask for a favour' 7:57
13 'Here where I stand let the earth crack asunder' 1:46
  Don Carlos, Elisabeth  
14 'The King!' 1:17
  Thibault, Philip, Chorus  
15 'Don't weep, my dear companion' 4:21
  Elisabeth, Rodrigo, Philip, Chorus  
16 'Remain here! I've seen you at my court' 2:18
  Philip, Rodrigo  
17 'O King, I come here from Flanders' 3:08
18 'What kind of peace is this you give your subjects?' 6:17
  Rodrigo, Philip  
  Act II  
  Scene 1: The Queen's garden  
19 Prelude 2:28
20 'At midnight in the garden of the Queen…' 2:12
  Don Carlos, Eboli  
21 'Alas your youthful mind has no idea' 2:40
  Eboli, Don Carlos, Rodrigo  
22 'Now he has scorned the love I gave him' 3:37
23 'Treacherous son, adult'rous lover' 3:31
  Eboli, Rodrigo, Don Carlos  
  Scene 2: A square in front of the Vallodolid Cathedral, Auto da Fé  
24 'Today is a day of gladness and joy' 6:59
  Chorus of People, Chorus of Monks  
25 'Let the sacred doors now be opened' 2:59
  Royal Herald, Chorus of People, Philip  
26 'O Heav'n! It's Carlos!' 4:55
  Elisabeth, Rodrigo, Philip, Don Carlos, Flemish Deputies, Chorus of Monks, Thibault  
27 'Sire! I have something to ask you!' 1:56
  Don Carlos, Philip, Elisabeth, Rodrigo, Thibault, Monks, Chorus of People  
28 'O heav'n!' 2:41
  Elisabeth, Don Carlos, Chorus of People, Philip, Monks, Voice from Heaven, Flemish Deputies  
  Act III  
  Scene1: The King's study in the Escurial  
29 [Introduction] 2:58
30 'She has no love for me!' 2:32
31 'I'll only sleep when I am laid to rest' 4:23
32 'The Grand Inquisitor' 3:22
  Count of Lerma, Grand Inquisitor, Philip  
33 'In this land of Spain no heresy has thrived' 5:24
  Grand Inquisitor, Philip  
34 'Your highness I ask for justice!' 2:01
  Elisabeth, Philip  
35 'You know full well, my hand was plighted' 2:36
  Elisabeth, Philip, Eboli, Rodrigo  
36 'Accurst be this hour' 4:11
  Philip, Eboli, Rodrigo, Elisabeth  
37 'Forgive! Forgive and pardon a woman who's wronged you' 3:25
  Eboli, Elisabeth  
38 'Oh cruel fate. O hated gift' 4:20
  Scene 2: A prison  
39 'I'm here my Carlos' 3:15
  Rodrigo, Don Carlos  
40 'My last day has dawned forever' 2:32
41 'But why do you speak of death?' 1:39
  Don Carlos, Rodrigo  
42 'O Carlos, now listen, your mother awaits you' 1:08
43 'Now I die, die contented' 2:23
44 'My son I return you your sword' 2:58
  Philip, Don Carlos, Chorus, Chorus of People, Count of Lerma, Grandees of Spain, Eboli, Grand Inquisitor  
  Act IV  
  At the tomb of Charles V  
45 [Introduction] 2:43
46 'You, who spurned and renounced all the world' 2:38
47 'France, my noble land, so dear to me in childhood!' 5:16
48 'She's there!' 5:34
  Don Carlos, Elisabeth  
49 'We shall meet not in this world' 3:49
  Elisabeth, Don Carlos  
50 'Yes, for ever! A double sacrifice is needed!' 1:43
  Philip, Grand Inquisitor, Elisabeth, Don Carlos, Old Monk, Chorus of Monks  
 Alastair Miles bass - Philip II
 Julian Gavin tenor - Don Carlos
 William Dazeley baritone - Rodrigo
 John Tomlinson bass - The Grand Inquisitor
 Janice Watson soprano - Elisabeth de Valois
 Jane Dutton mezzo-soprano - Princess of Eboli
 Julia Sporsén soprano - Thibault
 Stephen Briggs tenor - Count of Lerma
 Clive Bayley bass - An old Monk
 Rebecca Ryan soprano - Voice from Heaven
 Campbell Russell tenor - Royal Herald
 Julian Close bass - Flemish Deputy
 Grant Doyle baritone - Flemish Deputy
 Stephen Richardson bass - Flemish Deputy
 Galloway Bell bass - Flemish Deputy
 Stephen Dowson baritone - Flemish Deputy
 Alexander Ingram (Assistant)
 Richard Farnes
  26-30 May 2009  
Based on Schiller’s play, Verdi’s magnificent and arguably greatest opera, Don Carlos, has everything – intense personal passion and pain, enmeshed in the web of political and religious agendas – utterly relevant to today and superbly expressed in a score of gripping intensity.

This recording was made in Leeds Town Hall between Opera North’s May/June 2009 production and here receives its first recording in English. The performances conducted by their Music Director, Richard Farnes, knocked everyone who witnessed them, sideways.

Sold as three CDs for the price of two

This is a Don Carlos well worth exploring for its translation, its singing and excellent conducting…” - Mark Pullinger
International Record Review - December 2009

“The central relationships are full of passion, the conducting is full-blooded, and the huge auto-da-fé scene feels terrifyingly spectacular.” - Warwick Thompson
Classic FM Magazine January 2010

The Observer thought ‘The work came alive as never before, its passionate exchanges between king, son, stepmother and loyal friend all the more incandescent, an endorsement for the Peter Moores Foundation “Opera in English” series on Chandos, who record this Don Carlos for future release.’ York Press wrote ‘This is a drama torrid enough to satisfy the senses on many levels,’ whilst The Spectator declared Richard Farnes, ‘the best Verdian of our time.’

Tenor Julian Gavin takes the lead of Don Carlos and is ably assisted by William Dazeley as Rodrigo, Janice Watson as Elizabeth, and Alistair Miles as Philip II and Sir John Tomlinson as the Grand Inquisitor.

“… Don Carlos has never seemed so grand a tragedy as it does on this set.”

Fred Cohn

Opera News (USA) - July 2010

“…The cast is a strong one… Ensemble work is a consistent high point in its tight-knit vocal interplay… The conductor, Richard Farnes, is a truly exciting discovery, directing his forces to the manner born… Choral work is excellent and the orchestra superbly responsive to everything he asks for…”

Boyd Pomeroy

Fanfare - May/June 2010

"The performance, especially from an orchestral perspective, provides an absorbing listen and will certainly find favour from those getting to know the work. Richard Farnes elicits a response from the Orchestra of Opera North that is strong in theatrical terms and is spaciously and atmospherically recorded ..." "The orchestra is on fine form, at times superb."
 Alastair Miles’s Philip II is a more fiery interpretation of the King than many others in recorded terms, and he really sings off the words and brings the character to theatrical life – he’s certainly helped by Farnes’s fluid and generally fast tempos. "...the encounter with John Tomlinson’s terrifyingly implacable and vocally imposing Grand Inquisitor is the highlight ..."
 "Clive Bayley also provides an ideal vocal contrast as the mysterious monk, recorded in an acoustic that sounds just like a church cloister."

"Janice Watson is a strong Elisabeth, with attractive and creamy tone, and she delivers set-piece arias with considerable aplomb. She has a ’sad’ quality to her tone that makes her effective as the unhappy but regal  Queen ..."
"Jane Dutton’s fiery and forceful Eboli is satisfying, best in the more dramatic and declamatory moments ..."  "this is an exciting issue, most remarkable for the compelling contributions of Alastair Miles and for Richard Farnes’s refreshingly non-fussy and non-indulgent reading of the score. The excellent packaging and booklet is all one would from expect from Chandos."

Alexander Campbell

“...Opera North have much of which they can be proud. Under Richard Farnes, the orchestral playing will stand comparison with the acknowledged best. The strings achieve admirable precision and beauty of tone …The style also impresses as bearing the imprint of a genuine Verdi conductor with playing where, at times, one feels as though the instruments are contributing their own apt dialogue to the drama …”

John Steane 


Gramophone - April 2010

“The opera is thrillingly conducted by Richard Farnes, for whom the orchestra and chorus play and sing their hearts out, and the recording – in Leeds Town Hall – captures the grandeur and intimacy. Julian Gavin’s Carlos grows in stature. William Dazeley’s Posa has a heroic ring and Janice Watson’s Elisabeth is one of her best performances. As King Philip, Alastair Miles is regal and human against John Tomlinson’s sinister Grand Inquisitor.”

The Sunday Telegraph - 21 February 2010

“…this is a significant release, as we have never had a version sung in English. This is especially welcome, particularly as it is in Andrew Porter’s excellent translation, which strikes me as one of the most successful I have heard of a Verdi opera.
A further real strength of this recording lies in the superb conducting of Richard Farnes and the playing of the Orchestra of Opera North. It plays with real punch …
This is a Don Carlos well worth exploring for its translation, its singing and excellent conducting…”

Mark Pullinger

International Record Review - December 2009

“The central relationships are full of passion, the conducting is full-blooded, and the huge auto-da-fé scene feels terrifyingly spectacular.”

 Warwick Thompson

Classic FM Magazine - January 2010

“… this is a well-integrated, cleanly delineated performance of Don Carlos in its truncated four-act version, based on performances given last year by Opera North. The cast is good overall, but the outstanding element is Richard Farness’s forceful and vivid conducting of a finely responsive orchestra.”

 Rupert Christiansen

The Telegraph - 28 November 2009

“Best of the principles are Alastair Mile’s distinctive King Philip; John Tomlinson’s terrifying Grand Inquisitor and Clive Bayley’s Monk. Opera North’s choral and orchestral forces are both splendid, and conductor Richard Farnes process a superb interpreter of the score. The scale  and perspective of the recording are beautifully managed.”   

Performance ****/Recording ****

George Hall

BBC Music Magazine - Christmas Edition 2009

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