Princess Elisabeth of France
and Prince Don Carlo of Spain
fall in love. However, because of a
treaty between the two countries, Elizabeth
must marry King Phillip of Spain,
Don Carlo’s father. This is the conflict
presented in Act I of the opera Don Carlo
by the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901).
Don Carlo will be
broadcast live in high definition from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera
House in New York City to select
movie theaters around the world this Saturday, December 11, at 12:30 pm. Local opera lovers can view this broadcast at the Cinemark theaters in Ashland
and at the Huntington Mall (ed. note: You can can find a location near you on this site.)
The start time of 12:30 pm
is a half hour earlier than usual because the expected running time is 5
hours. The opera will be sung in Italian
with MET titles in English. If you have
time conflicts this Saturday, the United States
encore performance will be Wednesday,
January 5, 2011 at 6:30 pm
at the local Cinemark theaters.
The world premiere of Don
Carlo was at the Paris Opera in 1867. The original French libretto (script) was based on the play by Friedrich
Schiller. The libretto was later
translated into Italian.
Some of us saw the live broadcast of Boris Godunov on October 23. When Don Carlo was performed
in St. Petersburg, the Russian
composer Modeste Mussorgsky was working on Boris
Godunov. The audience may notice
similar characteristics in Czar Boris and King Philip.
Father and son conflict, tyranny and the downtrodden, and idealistic
realism and status-quo are all points of stress in the plot of the opera. A major conflict is the struggle between the
power if the throne, represented by King Philip and the power of the Church,
represented by the Grand Inquisitor. The
confrontational duet between the two basses provides a memorable dramatic impact.
The ending of the opera tells us that “suffering is
unavoidable and ceases only in heaven.”
Professor of Music