Set in France and Spain in the second half of the sixteenth century Don Carlo tells the story of the political and amorous rivalry between Philip II of Spain and his son Don Carlo. Luchino Visconti's magnificent and definitive Royal Opera production of Verdi's Don Carlo was first seen in 1958 and is seen here in a staging by Christopher Renshaw filmed in 1985. The Visconti sets recreate the forest of Fontainebleau the monastery of San Yuste and Don Carlo's dark underground prison with equal effectiveness. The superb cast is led by Ileana Cotrubas as a tender and... touching Elisabetta the fine lyric tenor Luis Lima in the title role and the great baritone Giorgio Zancanaro as Rodrigo. The conductor is Bernard Haitink. [show more]
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Don Carlos, Infante of Spain, is betrothed to Elisabeth until his father intercedes and marries her instead. Carlos, heartbroken, enters a monastery, but his friend Rodrigue tries to rally his spirits by convincing him to help free Protestant Flanders from Catholic Spain. Meanwhile Princess Eboli plots to have Carlos for herself, in spite of his continuing love for Elisabeth. An original production of Verdi's opera, by Luchino Visconti, performed at the Royal Opera House.