This production ran: Nov 3 - Dec 3
This Production is in the past
David McVicar’s monumental production—created for the Met premiere of the original French version of Verdi’s gripping drama in the 2021–22 season—returns, now sung in Italian and starring an unbeatable cast of dramatic voices. Russell Thomas, one of today’s fastest-rising tenors, takes on the title role, a Spanish nobleman caught between private passion and public duty, sharing the stage with sopranos Eleonora Buratto and Angela Meade as Elisabeth of Valois, mezzo-soprano Yulia Matochkina as Princess Eboli, baritone Peter Mattei as Rodrigo, bass-baritone John Relyea as the Grand Inquisitor, and bass Günther Groissböck as King Philip II. Carlo Rizzi conducts one of the repertory’s most epic works.
Production a gift of Elizabeth M. and Jean-Marie R. Eveillard, †Edwin C. Holmer III, and The Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund
Major funding from Rolex
Additional funding from the Hermione Foundation, Laura Sloate, Trustee
Languages sung in Don Carlo
Title languages displayed for Don Carlo
Met Titles In
Timeline for the show, Don Carlo
Estimated Run Time
Acts III & IV
World premiere: Opéra, Paris, 1867
Verdi’s longest and most ambitious opera offers a profound look at the intersection of the personal and the political spheres. The opera features a number of complex one-on-one confrontations, and the chorus, when it appears, is imposing, most notably in the central auto-da-fé. The grandeur of the score telescopes in Acts III and IV to the individuals, with magnificent and melodically rich solo scenes.
In a remarkable career spanning six decades in the theater, Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) composed 26 operas, at least half of which are at the core of today’s repertory. Don Carlo’s original French libretto was by François Joseph Méry (1797–1865), a notable Parisian playwright, and Camille du Locle (1832–1903), who completed work on the opera after Méry’s unexpected death. It was based on the 1787 play Don Karlos by German poet, philosopher, and historian Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805). The Italian translation is by Achille de Lauzières (1818–94) and Angelo Zanardini (1820–93).
The opera is set in grim, authoritarian Spain at the time of the Inquisition, c. 1560. While both Schiller and Verdi took significant poetic license with actual events and relationships, most of the protagonists are based on historical models.
With its epic scale, Don Carlo lacks the dramatic concision of Verdi’s later works, while maintaining a unique structure that builds over its five acts. The title role is one of the pinnacles of the tenor repertoire, but the score also features stunning vocal solos and duets for all six of its principal players. Large choral forces appear throughout, reminding us that the entire world is affected by the choices and actions of the lead characters.