VERDI: Don Carlos

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Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Don Carlos (Highlights)

(1886 Modena / 1867 Paris versions) Opera in Five Acts (sung in Italian)
Libretto: Joseph Mery and Camille du Locle, based on Friedrich Schiller
Italian translation: Achille de Lauzi?¿res and Angelo Zanardini Philip II (King of Spain) - Jaakko Ryhanen (Bass and Bass-baritone)
Don Carlos (Infante of Spain) - Lars Cleveman (Tenor)
Rodrigo (Marquis of Posa) - Peter Mattei (Baritone)
The Grand Inquisitor - Bengt Rundgren (Bass)
Elisabeth de Valois (Philip's Queen) - Hillevi Martinpelto (Soprano)
Princess Eboli (Elisabeth's lady-in-waiting) - Ingrid Tobiasson (Mezzosoprano)
Tebaldo (Elisabeth's page) - Iwa Sorenson (Soprano)
The Count of Lerma / A Royal Herald - Klas Hedlund (Tenor)
An Old Monk - Martti Wallen (Bass)
A Voice from Heaven - Hilda Leidland (Soprano)
Flemish Deputies - Goran Swartz, Mikael Magnell, Torbjorn Pettersson, Jan Sorberg, Mattias Nilsson, Johan W?Ñllberg Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm
(Chorus masters: Christina Hornell and Folke Alin)
Alberto Hold-Garrido This version of Don Carlos was assembled by the director Friedrich Meyer-Oertel with Alberto Hold-Garrido and Stefan Johansson ---   The final Italian version of Verdi's opera Don Carlos was first staged at La Scala, Milan, in 1884. Schiller's play had been proposed to Verdi as a subject for opera for Paris in 1850, but it was in 1866 that he saw the possibilities of the work, now with a French libretto, to be staged at the Paris Opera in March 1867. The opera proved too long and Verdi made various cuts before the first performance, and found it necessary to continue with revisions, most significantly in 1882 and 1883. These changes were made using the French libretto, of which the final Italian version is a translation. The various existing versions of the opera have led to an element of individual choice for directors and conductors. The version recorded by the Royal Swedish Opera, sung in Italian, includes a great deal of the original version, in order to present as clearly as possible the original narrative of Schiller's drama.   Synopsis Act I [Track 1] Don Carlos, son of Philip II, King of Spain, is to marry Elisabeth de Valois and has secretly accompanied the Spanish envoy to Fontainebleau to catch a glimpse of his future bride. The winter scene opens in the forest of Fontainebleau, where Carlos, alone, hears the sound of royal huntsmen. [2] Don Carlos awaits the arrival of Elisabeth, anticipating the delight of true love. On their meeting Elisabeth and Don Carlos fall in love with each other, but it is soon announced from the palace that negotiations have led to the decision that she should, instead, become the wife of King Philip, to the distress of the young couple. Act II [3] The second act opens in the cloister of the Spanish monastery of St Yuste, where Don Carlos seeks consolation at the tomb of his ancestor, Charles V, who had abdicated his throne to become a monk. [4] Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa, joins him, welcomed by his friend. Rodrigo has recently returned from Flanders, and seeks the help of Don Carlos in securing freedom for the people there, oppressed by the power of Spain. Don Carlos admits to Rodrigo his love for Elisabeth, his father's wife. [5] The second scene of Act II is set in a garden by the monastery gate, where the ladies of the Spanish court, with Princess Eboli, are seen. Accompanied by a page on the mandolin, Eboli sings an old Moorish love-song. When Elisabeth arrives, Rodrigo comes forward to give her a letter from France from her mother. He also gives her a note from Don Carlos telling her to trust Rodrigo and arrange a meeting with him. Eboli, however, believes that Carlos is secretly in love with her. [6] Rodrigo pleads for Carlos and Elisabeth agrees to meet him. Rodrigo and Eboli leave together. Carlos appears, begging Elisabeth's indulgence, asking her to intercede with his father to have him appointed envoy to Flanders. He finds her cold-hearted, but she rejects the accusation, pleading the demands of duty, in spite of her feelings. He tells her of his love for her. [7] Carlos must declare his love for her, and seizes her in his arms, but she warns of the danger he runs, as he leaves her, and she falls to her knees in prayer. The King appears, angry that the Queen has apparently been left unattended, and dismisses the Countess of Aremberg, sending her back to France. [8] Elisabeth tries to comfort the Countess, telling her that she has a place in the Queen's heart, even if banished from Spain. She gives her a ring, as they part. Rodrigo, who has been present, comes forward and tells the King of the suffering of the people of Flanders under the Inquisition. Philip, however, has no sympathy with the heretics and warns Rodrigo to beware of the Grand Inquisitor, although he admires the young man's courage and honesty. Act III The scene is set in the Queen's garden, while a masked ball takes place in the palace. Elisabeth, weary, wants to spend time alone in prayer, and tells Eboli to wear her cloak, so that people may still think the Queen is present. [9] The court ladies admire the starry sky, while Eboli enjoys the r??le of Queen that she can now play. Carlos has received a note telling him to come to the garden, and when he arrives and sees what he thinks is the Queen, he declares his love for her. Princess Eboli is angry and disappointed and vows revenge on the Queen and Carlos. Rodrigo, an observer of the scene, wants to kill Eboli, but is restrained by Carlos. [10] In front of the cathedral of Valladolid, the people celebrate the coming burning of heretics. The prisoners are led in and Carlos appears with a group of envoys from Flanders. They beg for mercy for their people, but their pleas are rejected by the King. Carlos impetuously draws his sword and the King orders him to be disarmed. None of those present dare obey, until Rodrigo takes the sword, and Carlos, thinking himself betrayed, gives in. Act IV [11] In his chamber the King is troubled by the need to sentence his son. [12] He is worried that he will never have the love of his wife. [13] The Grand Inquisitor is announced and is adamant that Carlos must die. The old man goes on to declare that Rodrigo too must be put to death. [14] Left alone for a moment, the King is joined by Elisabeth, who falls at his feet, seeking his help against palace intrigue: her jewels have been stolen and she must have justice. Philip tells her that the jewels are in his possession and among them a portrait of Don Carlos. She pleads her innocence, as one formerly betrothed to Carlos. He pushes her aside, and she falls down, fainting. Rodrigo and Princess Eboli rush to her side, to help her. [15] The four react each in their own way to these events. Eboli now admits that she had given the jewel casket to the King, and admits that she has been the King's mistress. Elisabeth banishes her to a convent. [16] Eboli curses her own beauty. She now plans revenge by fomenting an armed rebellion to rescue Don Carlos. Rodrigo has tried to take the blame for the disaffection in Flanders, proving his guilt to the King by papers in his possession. [17] In the prison he comes to bid farewell to his friend Carlos, telling him of his confession of guilt to the King. He urges Carlos to take his place in Flanders, but a shot rings out and he falls dying. [18] With his last words, Rodrigo tells Carlos that Elisabeth knows everything and will meet him at the monastery: it is his duty to save Spain. The King comes to set his son free, but is accused by him of murdering Rodrigo, revealing that Rodrigo has died in his pla
Disc: 1
Don Carlos (Highlights)
1 Act I: Introduction and Chorus: Su, cacciator! (Hu
2 Act I: Romance: Io la vidi e al suo sorriso (Don C
3 Act II: Prelude
4 Act II Scene 1: Duet: E lui! desso! l'infante … Di
5 Act II Scene 2: Veil Song: Nel giardin del bello (
6 Act II Scene 2: Romance: Carlo, ch'e sol il nostro
7 Act II Scene 2: Perche accusar il cor (Elisabeth,
8 Act II Scene 2: Romance: Non pianger, mia compagna
9 Act III Scene 1: Chorus: Quanti fior e quante stel
10 Act III Scene 2: Finale: Spuntato ecco il di (Peop
11 Act IV Scene 1: Prelude
12 Act IV Scene 1: Scene: Ella giammai m'amo … Cantab
13 Act IV Scene 1: Scene: Il Grand' Inquisitor (Lerma
14 Act IV Scene 1: Scene: Giustizia, o Sire (Elisabe
15 Act IV Scene 1: Quartet: Ah! sii maledetto … Che a
16 Act IV Scene 1: Aria: O don fatale (Eboli)
17 Act IV Scene 2: Aria: Per me giunto - Scene: Che p
18 Act IV Scene 2: Aria: O Carlo, ascolta (Rodrigo)
19 Act V: Aria: Tu, che le vanita … Francia, nobile s
20 Act V: Ma lassu ci vedremo (Elisabeth, Don Carlos)
21 Act V: Finale: Si, per sempre … Il duolo della ter
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