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Don Carlos (franz.)

on October 07, 2020
This is the page for the performance on October 07, 2020.
Music Giuseppe Verdi Text Josephe Méry & Camille Du Locle
→ Grand Opéra in fünf Akten - Französische Urfassung

Cast 07.10.2020

Conductor Bertrand de Billy
Production Peter Konwitschny
Szenische Einstudierung Alexander Edtbauer
Scenery and Costume Design Johannes Leiacker
Lighting Design Hans Toelstede
Inszenierung Autodaphé und Video-Regie Vera Nemirova
Dramaturge Werner Hintze
Philippe II. Michele Pertusi
Don Carlos Jonas Kaufmann
Rodrigue Igor Golovatenko
Grand Inquisiteur Roberto Scandiuzzi
Elisabeth de Valois Malin Byström
Eboli Eve-Maud Hubeaux
Mönch Dan Paul Dumitrescu
Thibault Virginie Verrez
Comte de Lerme Robert Bartneck
Herold Robert Bartneck
Stimme vom Himmel Johanna Wallroth
Moderatorin Ulrike Hübl
Coryphée Johannes Gisser


In view of the outstanding position that Paris was able to claim for itself in the field of music in the 19th century, Verdi attached great importance to his being commissioned to write an opera for the 1867 World Exhibition. At the centre of the events taking place in the second half of the 16th century – Schiller’s »Dramatic Poem« of the same name was used as a model – is the Spanish Crown Prince Carlos. He has an undying love for Elisabeth of Valois, who has been destined to be his wife since childhood, before his widowed father Philip II claims her for himself. This private conflict is exacerbated by a political one: Carlos' demands for the regency of the rebellious Dutch provinces – a fatal situation against the backdrop of the inquisition processes and the power of the Grand Inquisitor. With Don Carlos, Verdi made a significant contribution to the genre of the Grand Opéra, in which private desire for happiness is caught in between the fronts of political and social power struggles. Various difficulties during the rehearsal led to the composer being forced to write numerous revisions against his will before the work had its premiere on 11 March 1867. The current production was released in 2004 under the direction of Bertrand de Billy, who returns to the State Opera to conduct this revival. The original version, which he meticulously reconstructed, also includes passages that Verdi had had to take out in 1867. Director Peter Konwitschny weaves a network of relationships of breathtaking density between the characters. A humorous pantomimic interlude to the ballet music in the third act increases the height of the tragedy in which Konwitschny brings out a utopian moment: He interprets the end of the opera as the composer’s veto against the victory of the authorities hostile to love and life and annuls the realistic coordinates of the plot in favour of Carlos and Elisabeth’s salvation. Assuming the title role, Jonas Kaufmann will interpret a Verdi part for the first time at the Vienna State Opera. The house debuts of Malin Byström as Elisabeth and Eve-Maud Hubeaux as Eboli are also eagerly awaited.