4 October 2013 at 5.00pm | Comment on this article
Verdi’s political drama Don Carlo will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 7 October at 6.15pm as part of Radio 3’s Verdi 200 celebrations. It will also be available on demand via BBC iPlayer afterwards.
The production, described in the Independent as a ‘sublime musical event featuring performances of transcendent beauty’, boasts a stellar cast that includes Jonas Kaufmann in the title role and Anja Harteros as Elizabeth, conducted by The Royal Opera’s Director of Music, Antonio Pappano.
A powerful historical drama that combines love, politics and religion, Don Carlo is based on a 1787 play by Friedrich von Schiller. Set amid the religious repression the Spanish Inquisition, the opera follows the tortured love affair between Prince of Spain Don Carlos and Elizabeth of Valois, and the conflict between their romantic desires and political choices. Find out more in our Opera Essentials series.
First performed at the Paris Opéra in 1867, Don Carlo followed the tradition of French grand opera pioneered by Giacomo Meyerbeer. However, in rehearsals it was deemed too long and extensive cuts were made. Verdi continued to revise the opera over the following 20 years, eventually disposing of the first act altogether in 1884. This production by Nicholas Hytner follows the five-act 1886 version. Find out more about Verdi, ‘the notorious reviser’.
Read audience reactions to the opening night and add your own.