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The opera ‘Don Carlos’ sold out without an all-star cast

The opera ‘Don Carlos’ sold out without an all-star cast

Posted September. 18, 2018 08:19,   

Updated September. 18, 2018 08:19


The sign that says "sold out" was put up on Sunday afternoon at the lobby of the Daegu Opera House. Remarkably, the opening opera of this year’s Daegu International Opera Festival, "Don Carlos" composed by Giuseppe Verdi, sold out all the tickets on that day. A thrill of excitement resonated throughout the four-story auditorium that was full of audiences.

"Don Carlos" is known as Verdi’s longest composition as well as its astonishing spectacles. Act 3 is filled with the deep sound of the cello, Verdi’s favorite instrument, based on which King Philip II’s confession is made, “She has not ever loved him before.” Bass Yeon Gwang-chul plays a role of the man in super power, who has got all he wants except love. His performance has vividly proved how the actor that does not sing but speaks is renowned as one of the world’s best performers. Soprano Seo Seon-young performs the Queen Elizabeth with her excellent qualities befitting a top-class singer including a quasi-perfect voice. She has projected her promising future to encompass a variety ranges of pieces from Verdi’s in the late ages to Wagner’s. Baritone Lee Eung-gwang acts Carlos' dear friend Rodriguez, showing a textbook example of a baritone fit for Verdi’s who has a noble aura of dignity.

The stage is divided in two horizontal subparts, as designed meticulously and carefully by director Lee Hoe-soo. The upper part of the stage changes ceaselessly to play out each scene in convincing ways. The religious judge walks here and there on the second floor, keeping a close eye on the rest of the characters, which depicts in detail the time when divine right surpasses royal authority, as intended by the director.

Tickets to major opera performances are soon to sell out. The festival closes on Oct. 21. The performance venue was poorly equipped for "Don Carlos." The staff added more lights to the stage, which has turned out not to be sufficiently effective, though. However, all these restraints make the success of the piece all the more surprising.

Seung-Hoon Cheon raphy@donga.com