Internationally acclaimed Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón in his break-out role as Don Carlos at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
The year is 1559. A peace treaty between France and Spain is on the point of being signed, arranging marriage between Princess Elizabeth of Valois, daughter of Henry II, and Don Carlos, son of Philipp II and heir to the Spanish throne. When Don Carlos (Rolando Villazón) and Elizabeth meet, they immediately fall in love despite fears about marrying a stranger. Unfortunately, their happiness is short-lived: the treaty is renegotiated, and Henry II will marry his daughter to King Philip II himself. To ensure peace between France and Spain, Elizabeth consents, leaving Carlos devastated.
As ever in Verdi's masterpieces, Don Carlo's story has its roots in the political and religious history of Europe. Like in a Racinian tragedy, the lovers' paths are determined by a political reality far more powerful than themselves.
© Picture: Catherine Ashmore
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