A sound production, a spectacular cast, a few roast heretics for supper - this could have been the greatest Don Carlo ever. If only they'd rehearsed it. Following an airing in January, Jürgen Rose's ten year old production was revived for just two nights. Some critics complain that Munich's summer opera festival is not imaginative enough, that it doesn't have new productions coming out of its ears like Salzburg's does. But for out-of-towners like me, one of the main attractions is well-cast revivals of old favourites.
However when the most convincing actor on stage is Ramón Vargas, you know you've got problems. The singing was uniformly terrific, but the cast, to a (wo)man, looked as if they'd been shoved on stage and told to get on with it. It didn't help that the temperature outdoors was a muggy 80-plus degrees, and worse inside. In their heavy period costumes, sweat running down their faces, running around the stage was probably the last thing any of them wanted to do.