Giuseppi Verdi's "Don Carlo" was a Behemoth, a lumbering monster. It featured variant openings, duets and trios and choruses to burn, ballet music that now only exists as a separate concert work, and most importantly, a great psychological/musical narrative frame -- the reason for all the elaboration and development.
What most of us know begins in a tomb in Spain and builds out an old and new subtext of European history, the battle of reactionary politics and the spirit of the Reformation. This background weaves this ideological struggle into a love story of great power.
The reason for the opera's growing fame was that the passion and power of the essential human drama shone through:
Hypocrisy, jealousy, reaction and revolutions of thought, the inevitable wars of generations, court intrigue, threats of murder and blackmail, the human condition and music of breathtaking scale and inspiration. It is the longest and most ambitious music that Verdi would ever write.
The Met's production features Ramón Vargas in the title role; Vargas is joined by Barbara Frittoli, Anna Smirnova, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ferruccio Furlanetto, and Eric Halfvarson.
Tune in to KPAC or KTXI this Saturday at noon to hear the Metropolitan Opera's production of the Verdi epic set in the Spanish Inquisition, "Don Carlo."
- For more on this show visit the Met online at: www.metoperafamily.org