Sat, 16. Sept 2023, 19:00
He commands a world empire and yet he is deeply unsettled. Philip II of Spain not only fears losing command but also feels betrayed and deserted by his wife Elizabeth von Valois: she and his son Carlo are in love. Over all this hangs the threatening shadow of the Inquisition. In vain, King Philip seeks trust in a hostile world.
Verdi adapted several dramas by Schiller and wrote lively operas based on their stories. With »Don Carlo«, he achieved this in a particularly impressive way, first composing a French grand opera version, then an Italian melodrama. Striking tableaux with large-scale scenes for the chorus and ensemble are juxtaposed with chamber music passages, often in the form of psychologically sensitive duets. Here, the characters mutually probe and size each other up, as well as revealing their innermost feelings. Intrigue is spun, people lie and deceive one another – but sometimes light, too, breaks through the darkness, for instance when friendship and love are sworn with compelling power and honesty. Verdi’s epic universal and family drama is an opera of grand state acts as well as emotions, with dramatic intensity and inspired music.
approx. 3:25 hrs including one interval after act two