Don Carlos, 2001

Press Review (Bath Chronicle)

A chance for solo triumphs

"Verdi's masterpiece is a severe test of any opera company's resources, professional or amateur, and containing this production within the limited space and acoustic available posed problems both of movement and volume of sound.

"Director John Palmer and his team showed great ingenuity in managing these large forces; and both the costumes and stage settings were extremely effective.

"The evening, though, really belonged to the soloists.

"And what a range of talent was on display: a quite superb Rodrigo from Niall Hoskin, in magnificent voice, expressive and tender; Judith Davis as Elisabeth, resplendently uninhibited in the upper register; Gill Clark's dramatically intense Eboli; a vivid portrayal from Edward Harper of the tragic king; and high octane passion from Paul Potts in the title role.

"They recreated for us the blood and fire of the Inquisition in 16th century Spain in all its stark, smoking horror. And Peter Redfern's emaciated Grand Inquisitor was suitably chilling.

"The chorus, after some initial uncertainty, warmed to its task as the action progressed; and the orchestra provided excellent - if sometimes rather overweight - support. But conductor Peter Blackwood should be very satisfied with the overall balance and ensemble sound he achieved.

"This is a big scale piece, full of musical pitfalls, and it was very well performed. It's on again tonight and tomorrow; don't miss it."

Peter Lloyd Williams, Bath Chronicle

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