Reviews for Verdi’s “Don Carlo”

Critical Acclaim "Conductor Massimo Zanetti was highly effective in bringing out the more passionate moments of Verdi’s score, particularly in the introduction to Elisabetta’s Act four aria “Tu che le vanità conoscenti del mondo,” the only moment in the entire performance when the orchestra played with the curtain drawn and with no videos to distract one’s attention from the music." Robert Adelson & Jacqueline LetzterOperawire
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“Anche la parte musicale e vocale di questo Don Carlo, proposto al Grimaldi Forum nella versione in quattro atti, non è meno interessante. La direzione di Massimo Zanetti, attenta sempre al palcoscenico, guida l’Orchestra Philharmonique di Monte-Carlo e il Coro dell’Opéra di Monte-Carlo, quest’ultimo istruito da Stefano Visconti e al massimo della sua forma, verso orizzonti espressivi di concreta teatralità, non cercando solo tinte scure ma anche utilizzando tempi e colori giusti per ogni quadro dell’opera; ha dunque il merito di non circoscrivere il discorso musicale secondo un sentire uniformemente sombre, ma ricorre a slarghi melodici e a sfumature per valorizzare il meglio di alcuni cantanti.”

Connessi all’Opera, Alessandro Mormile

[The musical and vocal part of this Don Carlo, proposed at the Grimaldi Forum in the four-act version, is no less interesting. Massimo Zanetti’s conducting, always attentive to the stage, guides the Philharmonique Orchestra of Monte-Carlo and the Chorus of the Monte-Carlo Opera House, the latter instructed by Stefano Visconti and at the top of its form, towards expressive horizons of concrete theatricality, not only seeking dark hues but also using the right tempi and colours for each painting in the opera; thus has the merit of not circumscribing the musical discourse according to a uniformly sombre sentiment, but resorting to melodic outbursts and nuances to bring out the best in certain singers.]

“Massimo Zanetti indicates the departures and controls the orchestra with unerring precision. It is a sound festival that emerges from the pit, where the instrumentalists compete to make this music palpitate where bitterness mixes with sweetness, which rears up or languishes with resentments or regrets, which thunders or swells. flies away according to anger or reverie. No matter how well we know it, the play of timbres and colors always has the same captivating seduction, and this beautiful execution alone would be worth the trip”

Forum Opéra, Maurice Salles

“La direction musicale de Massimo Zanetti frappe par sa vitalité, mettant en mouvement la fosse et le drame avec la chape de désespoir de cette partition, des cuivres au bord d’un gouffre de lave en fusion, quelques soli regardant vers le ciel (petite harmonie) ou vers le coeur (violoncelle). Le chef fait de grands gestes précis, comme s’il lançait un lasso, pour appeler les fanfares, assurer la respiration synchrone entre la fosse et le plateau, tandis que les voix se posent, et que les soli se lèvent.”

Ôlyrix, Florence Lethurgez

[Massimo Zanetti’s musical direction is striking in its vitality, setting the pit and the drama in motion with this score’s blanket of despair, brass instruments on the brink of a molten lava pit, a few solos looking skywards (petite harmonie) or to the heart (cello). The conductor makes great, precise gestures, as if he were throwing a lasso, to call the fanfares and ensure synchronous breathing between the pit and the stage, while the voices settle and the solos rise.]

“La direction musicale de l’orchestre philharmonique de Monte-Carlo — accord éclatant des cuivres en ouverture et en clôture par parallélisme des formes, émouvant violoncelle sur l’air solo de Philippe II — et des choeurs de l’opéra (Stefano Visconti) par Massimo Zanetti, déborde d’énergie. Celui qui avait déjà su, en décembre 2021, galvaniser la faible partition musicale de Il Corsaro à Monte-Carlo, surveille en outre les artistes comme « le lait sur le feu ». Les nécessaires changements de décors entre les tableaux et qui embellissent cette production brisent hélas, en retour, la puissance des élans insufflés par le maestro.”, Jean-Luc Vannier

[The musical direction of the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra — dazzling brass chord at opening and closing by parallelism of forms, moving cello to the solo tune of Philip II — and opera choirs (Stefano Visconti) by Massimo Zanetti, is full of energy. He is the one who we had already known, in December 2021, galvanizing the weak musical score of Il Corsaro in Monte-Carlo, here further “monitors” artists like “ le lait sur le feu “. The necessary changes of scenery between paintings and which embellish this production unfortunately break, in return, the power of the impulses inspired by the maestro.]

“A Stirring Orchestral Contribution

The extended cello solo at the opening of Act four was superbly played by Delphine Perrone, and Mathilde Rampelberg’s English horn solos added poignancy to Elisabetta’s aria “Non pianger, mia compagna” in Act one. Conductor Massimo Zanetti was highly effective in bringing out the more passionate moments of Verdi’s score, particularly in the introduction to Elisabetta’s Act four aria “Tu che le vanità conoscenti del mondo,” the only moment in the entire performance when the orchestra played with the curtain drawn and with no videos to distract one’s attention from the music. Similarly, Zanetti brought out the pathos in the Act four duo between Carlo and Elisabetta by emphasizing the mournful accents in the violas and cellos. However, he seemed less interested than other conductors in wallowing in the lugubrious moments of the score. For example, in the second scene of Act two, where the monks escort the heretics to the stake, the funeral march in the low woodwinds sounded more nimble than menacing. On the other hand, in the music for the Inquisitor, Zanetti brought to the fore the contrabassoon and double bass, lending an eerie quality to the scene.”

Operawire, Robert Adelson & Jacqueline Letzter

“A tessere le fila del racconto musicale è chiamato Massimo Zanetti che sembra optare, specialmente nella prima parte dello spettacolo, per ritmi alquanto sostenuti. Una direzione funzionale al palcoscenico che alterna momenti caratterizzati da dinamiche cesellate a regola d’arte, ad altri meno incisivi, ma pur sempre in un quadro di correttezza complessiva.

Al Maestro si può ascrivere, inoltre, il merito di ricercare e mantenere sonorità pulite ed asciutte che si levano compatte ed uniformi dalla buca dove agisce l’Orchestra Philharmonique di Monte-Carlo, protagonista di una prova di pregevole levatura esecutiva.”

Operalibera, Marco Faverzani & Giorgio Panigati

[Weaving the threads of the musical tale is Massimo Zanetti, who seems to opt, especially in the first part of the performance, for rather sustained rhythms. A direction functional to the stage that alternates moments characterised by artfully chiselled dynamics with others that are less incisive, but still within a framework of overall correctness.

The Maestro can also be credited with the merit of seeking out and maintaining clean, dry sonorities that rise compactly and uniformly from the pit where the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo, the protagonist of a performance of exquisite executive calibre, acts.]

“L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo superbe phalange – mais la repeterons nous jamais assez? – accompagne avec son habituelle ferveur l’une des plus admirable partitions de Verdi ( inspire par le genie dramatique de Schiller ) sous la baguette toujours prècise et la direction attentive du maestro Massimo Zanetti, déjà remarquè au pupitre de la formation monègasque pour Il Corsaro de Verdi en Dècembre 2021.”

Rèsonances Lyriques, Christian Jarniat

[The Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra is a superb phalanx – but can we ever say that enough? – accompanies one of Verdi’s most admirable scores (inspired by Schiller’s dramatic genius) with its usual fervour, under the ever-precise baton and attentive direction of Maestro Massimo Zanetti, who has already made his mark on the Monte-Carlo orchestra for Verdi’s Il Corsaro in December 2021.]