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Don Carlo

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Few works in the repertory match the grandeur of Verdi’s Don Carlo, which explores the public and private struggles of members of the court of King Filippo II during the Spanish Inquisition. With its thrilling ensembles, fraught confrontations, and sextet of demanding principal roles, the opera is undoubtedly its composer’s most ambitious undertaking, requiring an opera company to marshal all its resources to bring it to the stage. In this historic telecast from 1983, the Met rises to the challenge, with James Levine on the podium to lead a towering production by prolific director John Dexter. Tenor Plácido Domingo takes on the title role, a young prince whose beloved, Elisabetta di Valois—portrayed here by the ever-ravishing Mirella Freni—is forced into a political marriage with Carlo’s father, King Filippo. Alongside this starry pair, the sterling ensemble also features the legendary Grace Bumbry as Eboli, baritone Louis Quilico as Rodrigo, bass Nicolai Ghiaurov as Filippo, and a young Ferruccio Furlanetto—who would go on to be one of his generation’s leading interpreters of Filippo—as the Grand Inquisitor.

Full Synopsis

Performance Info

Performance Date

Mar 26, 1983


Giuseppe Verdi


Camille du Locle and Joseph Méry, translation by Achille de Lauzières

Run Time

3 HRS 33 MIN

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus