Don Karlos A four-act opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Libretto by Joseph Mary and Camille du Locle

The Friedrich Schiller drama of the same name

Conductor IVAYLO KRINCHEV

Director NINA NAIDENOVA

Choir Conductor NEVENA MIHAYLOVA

Set design by Boris Stoynov

Costume Designer TSVETANKA PETKOVA-STOYNOVA

Concertmaster YORDAN KOVACHEV

Assistant Director DARINA GLAVANAKOVA

Prompter DORA FАRTUNOVA

Subtitles SREBRINA SLAVOVA

Accompanists: STANKA ARGIROVA - APOSTOLOVA, MIGLENA SLAVOVA, OLGA DICHEVA, BILYANA GEORGIEVA - KINCHEVA, MARGARITA PETRANOVA

 

Contributors to the production:

Production manager and theater master IVAN FARTUNOV

Head of artistic lighting KIRIL KARADIMOV

Illuminators TANYA STAVREVA, NINA NEDELCHEVA

Head of sewing studio KICHKA GROZEVA

Tailors KICHKA GROZEVA, MAGDA GALCHEVA, DIMKA RUSEVA

Wardrobe manager DIMKA RUSEVA

Hair and makeup NADEZHDA TANEVA

Artistic sound system VESELIN PENCHEV

Multimedia and photo studio NEDYALKO BAMBEKOV

Advertising and public relations YANITA VODENICHAROVA

History of creation

Don Carlos has been writing for twelve years. In the middle of 1865, the French publisher Leon Escudier arrived in Sant'Agata and, presenting several plots to Verdi, asked him to choose one of them and write music for the Paris Grand Opera. The composer's choice fell on Schiller's drama Don Carlos. This plot has actually occupied Verdi's mind since before - since his visit to Spain on the occasion of the staging of the opera The Power of Fate. It was then that the composer visited the castle Escorial, which left an extremely depressing impression.

Verdi left for Paris and waited for a year to receive the libretto that Joseph Mary and Camille du Lockle wrote about him. As soon as he obtained the text, Verdi returned to work in Italy, fearing that too much secular life in the French capital would prevent him from composing. At home, however, he received terrible news: Austria ceded Venice to France to Napoleon III. Shocked and disgusted, Verdi immediately wrote to Escudier, trying to get out of the contract to write the opera - but to no avail, so he eventually had to return to France, where in a small town in the heart of the Pyrenees he composed " Don Carlos.

The opera premiered on March 11, 1876, and was a resounding success. Seven months later, on October 27 of the same year, the Don Carlos, translated for the Italian audience, was presented at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna.

In 1872, the same Italian version of the opera was performed at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, with corrections made by Verdi himself, which, however, proved insufficient for the colossal original score, as a result of which the opera was later abbreviated in Vienna.

In 1882, Verdi decided to radically change the libretto and, together with du Locle and Neuilly, made some cuts, and Angelo Gianardini was commissioned to translate the new verses. After months of long work, on January 10, 1884, the new Don Carlos appeared on the stage of the Scala di Milano in four acts. The opera is most often performed in this abbreviated version to this day on the world opera stages.

 

Actors:

Philip II, King of Spain

Don Carlos, Spanish infant, his son

Rodrigo, Marquis Pose

The Grand Inquisitor

Monk

Elizabeth Valois, Queen of Spain, wife of Philip II

Princess Eboli, court lady

Tebaldo, page of Elizabeth

Countess Aremberg, court lady

Count Lerma, chief of bodyguards

Herald

A voice from heaven

Delegates from Flanders, delegates from the Spanish provinces, courtiers, people, pages, royal guards, monks, servants, soldiers.

The action takes place in Spain in 1560.

Contents:

I Action

First picture

In the courtyard of the monastery of San Giusto, monks pray at the tomb of Charles V. It is at the place of death of his grandfather, the Spanish heir to the throne Don Carlos shares with his friend Rodrigo his love torments - it turned out that the woman he loves fell in love with each other at first sight, the French Princess Elizabeth Valois, in fact, was promised a wife not to him but to his father - the Spanish monarch Philip II. In response, Rodrigo - Marquis Pose - urges the Infanta to go to Flanders and fight for her liberation, thus fulfilling his duty; to bet on values ​​such as friendship and freedom (the duet "Lord who is in our souls").

 

Second picture

In the garden near the Escorial Palace, not far from the convent of San Giusto, the ladies of the court and the page of Tebaldo gathered around Princess Eboli, who sang a Saracen song - "The Song of the Veil". Elizabeth appears. The Marquis Rodrigo Pose approached her and handed her a letter from Carlos. As the embarrassed young woman reads it, Rodrigo tries to distract Eboli and the court ladies with the latest news from the French court. After Elizabeth reads the note, Pose asks her to meet Don Carlos ("Carlos, our only lover") before he leaves for Flanders. Carlos' unexpected appearance caused Elizabeth a storm of emotion. Although very excited, she, like a real queen, manages to control herself and assures the infant that she will support him in his decision to go to Flanders. However, Carlos could not resist and spoke to her again about his desperate and hopeless love for her, after which, broken, he withdrew. Unexpectedly, Philip, who had become quite suspicious recently, appeared and, seeing the queen herself, in a fit of uncontrollable rage, expelled the court lady, Countess Aremberg, from the royal court. The queen comforts her friend ("Don't cry, my friend"), says goodbye to her and withdraws. Philip stays to talk to Rodrigo. Pose boldly reveals to the monarch the plight of the Flemish people, accuses him of looming over their lands "in the graveyard of peace," and begs him to be more humane. Strongly impressed by Rodrigo's courage, instead of punishing him, Philip pretended not to hear his provocative words, but warned the Marquis to beware of the Grand Inquisitor and tried to turn him into his confidant, sharing with him his terrible suspicions of the relationship between Don Carlos and the Queen.

 

II Action

First picture

Garden in the royal palace. Night. Don Carlos anxiously awaits the meeting, secretly scheduled for him with an anonymous message, thinking that he will meet Elizabeth. A lady with a veiled face appears. Carlos embarks on love affairs, unaware that behind the veil is not the queen, but Eboli, who is in love with him. By the time the moonlight reveals the lady's true identity, Eboli has already learned of the forbidden love the infant feels for his father's wife. Out of rage, she threatens to take revenge. Unexpectedly, Rodrigo arrives, who immediately realizes what has happened and threatens Eboli that if he betrays his boyfriend, she will be in great trouble ("Tremble for yourself, lying child"). When the hateful Eboli leaves, the Marquis Pose begs the heir to the throne to trust his friendship and loyalty to hand over all the letters he has received from the queen so that he will not be betrayed.

 

Second picture

A stake has been erected in the large square in front of the Cathedral of Valladolid, where heretics sentenced to death will be burned. People flock everywhere to attend the execution. As King Philip set out to announce the beginning of the execution, a group of Flemish deputies arrived, led by Carlos, who asked his father to appoint him viceroy of Flanders and Brabante. After Philip's refusal to do so, as well as to pardon the convicts, Don Carlos drew his sword, determined to fight for the salvation of the Flemish people from tyranny. Philip orders the disarming of the infantry, but no one dares approach Carlos. Seeing the danger threatening his friend, the Marquis Pose forces him to surrender his sword. The heir to the throne was defeated by the act of Rodrigo, whom he considered his best friend. The execution could now continue, and the monks of the Inquisition led the convicted heretics to the stake.

II Action

First picture

Garden in the royal palace. Night. Don Carlos anxiously awaits the meeting, secretly scheduled for him with an anonymous message, thinking that he will meet Elizabeth. A lady with a veiled face appears. Carlos embarks on love affairs, unaware that behind the veil is not the queen, but Eboli, who is in love with him. By the time the moonlight reveals the lady's true identity, Eboli has already learned of the forbidden love the infant feels for his father's wife. Out of rage, she threatens to take revenge. Unexpectedly, Rodrigo arrives, who immediately realizes what has happened and threatens Eboli that if he betrays his boyfriend, she will be in great trouble ("Tremble for yourself, lying child"). When the hateful Eboli leaves, the Marquis Pose begs the heir to the throne to trust his friendship and loyalty to hand over all the letters he has received from the queen so that he will not be betrayed.

 

Second picture

A stake has been erected in the large square in front of the Cathedral of Valladolid, where heretics sentenced to death will be burned. People flock everywhere to attend the execution. As King Philip set out to announce the beginning of the execution, a group of Flemish deputies arrived, led by Carlos, who asked his father to appoint him viceroy of Flanders and Brabante. After Philip's refusal to do so, as well as to pardon the convicts, Don Carlos drew his sword, determined to fight for the salvation of the Flemish people from tyranny. Philip orders the disarming of the infantry, but no one dares approach Carlos. Seeing the danger threatening his friend, the Marquis Pose forces him to surrender his sword. The heir to the throne was defeated by the act of Rodrigo, whom he considered his best friend. The execution could now continue, and the monks of the Inquisition led the convicted heretics to the stake.

 

III Action

First picture

Philip II is awake in his office. Eboli has carried out her threat. The princess stole the box of Carlos' letters from Elizabeth and handed it over to the king. Now Philip is beside himself - lost in thought about his loneliness, about his great love for the queen, which, however, is unshared. The king, unable to come to terms with her infidelity, imagines his last hour ("She never loved me"). The Grand Inquisitor enters the office, whom Philip has called for advice on how to punish his disobedient son. The Inquisitor proposed that Carlos, along with the Marquis of Pose, be executed as heretics. However, the king believes in Pose and refuses to follow the old man's advice. Angry, the Inquisitor threatens the monarch with an eternal curse and leaves the cabinet. Shortly afterwards, Elizabeth enters the royal cabinet to seek justice: her treasure chest is stolen. Then Philip shows it to her and orders the astonished Elizabeth to open it. After her refusal, the king himself opened the coffin and showed her its contents - the portrait of Carlos, along with his letters to her, and accused Elizabeth of adultery. The terrified queen loses consciousness. They call Eboli to take care of her. When Philip, accompanied by Rodrigo, leaves, the bitterly remorseful Princess Eboli confesses to the queen what she has done, blinded by her love for Carlos, and begs her forgiveness for her betrayal. However, Elizabeth is adamant - Eboli will be sent to a monastery. The crushed princess cursed her feminine vanity ("Oh, a fatal gift").

 

Second picture

A visitor, Rodrigo, enters Don Carlos' prison cell. It turns out that the infant suspected him of treason in vain - in order to save Carlos, the marquis stated that he himself, and not the heir to the throne, was the leader of the rebel Flemings. Knowing that he was a victim of the Grand Inquisitor, Rodrigo actually came to say goodbye ("The last day is coming for me"). Indeed, a moment later a shot from an arquebus knocked him down, fatally wounding him. With his last breath, Pose begs Carlos to go to San Justo the next morning to say goodbye to Elizabeth, his father's wife, and to complete the work he has begun, the liberation of Flanders.

 

IV Action

The courtyard of the convent of San Giusto again. Elizabeth prays in the tomb of Charles V ("You who knew the vanity of the world") waiting for Carlos, who will come to say goodbye to her forever. The queen recalls the sweetness of their first meeting in the forest of Fonteblo and, bitterly lamenting her lost happiness, longs only for "grave" peace. When the infant arrives, Elizabeth tells him that she called him only to say goodbye before the heir to the throne left for Flanders. Philip, accompanied by the Grand Inquisitor, surprises them just as the two, devastated by grief, say goodbye. Seeing Carlos and Elizabeth together, the king, in a fit of terrible rage, betrays his son to the monks of the Inquisition, who kill him.