Giuseppe Verdi


contemporary opera 14

In Brief

Opera in four acts, in Italian, with Hungarian, English, and Italian subtitles

Performance length: , with 1 intermission.
16th-century Spain. State and church are engaged in a ruthless and devastating struggle for dominance over the people. Every rebellion and every attempt to establish a humane social order is strangled at birth. Humanistic ideals are doomed to death from the start, and those professing them find themselves being burnt at the stake by the Inquisition. The greatest victim in all of this is none other than the king’s son, the prince Don Carlo. He is the one who dares to love, to step up for the freedom of the oppressed people and to challenge both the church and the state, shaking up their system of power…” This is the take of Frank Hilbrich, the director of the production, who adds that “Verdi portrays this painful recognition in Schiller’s stage play Don Carlos with grandiose music. There is no other composer for whom individual freedom could have taken on such importance. With this opera, he paints a frightening picture of human civilisation.
Verdi took Schiller’s drama, a work whose nearly every line is permeated with social and political ideas, and poured it into music in a way that emphasises individual emotions and spiritual vibrations. Hilbrich, a director who has long been recognised across the German-speaking world, earned his international reputation chiefly with Wagnerian productions, as well as with contemporary operas.


"The lighting is outstanding in creating atmosphere and Gabriele Rupprecht’s costumes are stunning. (...) The director takes care to create distinct characters who must contend with his/her own private torments."

Ako Imamura, Bachtrack