Don Carlos - Opera - Season 17/18 Programming - Opéra national de Paris

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    Don Carlos

    Giuseppe Verdi

    Opéra Bastille - from 10 October to 11 November 2017

    Elena Bauer / OnP

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Don Carlos

Opéra Bastille - from 10 October to 11 November 2017


Don Carlos

Giuseppe Verdi

Opéra Bastille - from 10 October to 11 November 2017

4h40 with 2 intervals

Language : French

Surtitle : French / English

  • Opening night : 10 October 2017

Disponibilités limitées sur les représentations du 10 au 28 octobre


In few words:

If there exists an opera that defies boundaries at every level, be they dramatic or dramaturgical, it is certainly Verdi’s Don Carlos, a work by an Italian composer created in French, and in which the climate of war with Spain and the melancholy of human beings draw our attention to the fate to Flanders. Politics, religion, history and psychoanalysis are all entwined here, increasingly exacerbating the fears and taboos between the protagonists. Krzysztof Warlikowski strips down a tragedy haunted by ghosts, and places the intimate at the heart of an imaginary fresco truer than history itself. Along with Philippe Jordan, he reveals to the public the very first version of this great five-act opera: the version modified by Verdi himself for the work’s first performance in 1867. Echoing this historic version, the Paris Opera will be scheduling the five-act version of Don Carlo in Italian in 2019.

Media coverage

  • Une production d'exception qui réunit sur son plateau la crème des chanteurs avec Jonas Kaufmann, Sonya Yoncheva, Ildar Abdrazakov et Ludovic Tezier pour ne citer qu'eux

    Fabienne Arvers et Patrick Sourd, Les Inrockuptibles
  • Nul doute que Philippe Jordan enflammera cette partition qui luit comme un diamant noir dans le ciel verdien

    Nicolas d’Estienne d’Orves, Le Figaroscope
  • Dès demain, le chef d’orchestre dirige, à la Bastille, une constellation de stars lyriques dans une production très attendue du Don Carlos de Verdi.

    La Croix, Emmanuelle Giuliani
  • Le Don Carlos de Verdi représenté à l'Opéra Bastille à partir du 10 octobre est un événement mondial, réunissant les plus grands interprètes de chaque tessiture, dans une version en français d'un chef-d’oeuvre du grand Verdi, avec la mise en scène d'un génie fou.

    Olyrix , Charles Aden
  • C'est l'événement lyrique de la rentrée

  • Elina Garança? Une Eboli idéale par l'alliance d'un style aristocratique, d'une technique parfaite et d'une tessiture égale sur toute l'étendue. La direction de Philippe Jordan oublie toute référence italienne, pour ce véritable opéra français qu'est la version originale du Don Carlos en cinq actes, la plus belle, enfin revenue au répertoire de l'Opéra de Paris

    Le Figaro, Christian Merlin


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Audio clips

Don Carlos - Giuseppe Verdi

Don Carlos - « Un Souffle Ardent » (Ludovic Tézier)

Don Carlos - « Dieu Tu Semas Dans Nos Âmes » (Jonas Kaufmann et Ludovic Tézier)

Don Carlos - « Adieu Reine » (Elīna Garanča)


  • L’Ora Fatale


    L’Ora Fatale

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    The Irreplaceable Malgorzata

  • Podcast Don Carlos


    Podcast Don Carlos

  • Constructing Don Carlos


    Constructing Don Carlos

  • Verdian at heart


    Verdian at heart

  • Draw me Don Carlos


    Draw me Don Carlos

© Raphaël Gaillarde

L’Ora Fatale


L’Ora Fatale

The last dawn of an imaginary theatre


By Stéphane Héaume

What more royal and heartbreaking solitude than that of Philippe II in Verdi’s opera! In a dreamlike mise en abime of the grand monologue in Act IV, the novelist Stéphane Héaume creates a portrait of a wounded man and a variation on the themes of desertion and disillusion.

I am an old man now, who has been through many things, many. There is one thing, however, that I have never known; the time has come to experience it now. And all is ready. It’s for tonight.

It is not as hot as yesterday but the damp persists in this night not quite fallen on the equatorial forest. From the patio of the villa – a palace with columns reminiscent of a temple – I can make out the mauve streak of the sea below, far away over there, far beyond the last buttresses of the mountains, well beyond the frangipani trees hugging the coast. It is somewhere between Orabazza Point and Capo Rosso that it will happen, the illuminated line of the ship (we called it an ocean-going liner when I was young) will slide over the waves, slow and heavy, and it will last but an instant, a second of eternity, my eternity, the joy of an old man, my final project.

Yes, all is ready. Between the sea and myself the amphitheatre rises up – an enchanted coliseum - , its ruins offered up to the heavens, its crumbling cavea forming a semi-circle from before the world. I cross the patio to the balustrade and in the twilight I see the torches planted here and there; we shall light them later, with my boy, before the crowd enters the place. It seems to me that I can already see all those faces, all those bodies. There they are, taking their places on the white cushions that have been placed on the stone. Five thousand spectators brought here by the coach-load, delivered up to the awaiting jungle, drowning in the creepers that weave a cocoon in the guise of a roof, the imaginary dome covering an al fresco theatre. Here, palm trees, there, kapok trees, their trunks aligned like the boards of a theatre set. Nothing like it has ever been seen in Monte Iguana. I have had to imagine it all. I am an old man now. In truth, they must surely be asking: “Is he really going to sing? At his age?” I shall be an attraction, a curiosity. They won’t come so much for the production – although I’ve assembled a cast of the most worthy – as to glean the final notes of a worn-out phenomenon.

The orchestral musicians won’t be much longer. The stage awaits them, a half-moon of wooden planks surrounded by blocks of stone. So long as there’s no wind. There they are at my feet, the vaults of the Escurial, the setting for my great scene. I have rehearsed, oh, I have long prepared for this miracle. But have I not been preparing for the last forty years, ever since my hour of glory? My nights are filled with the applause of bygone days. The curtains of all theatres sweep past, one by one, before my eyes. They overlay the gauzy vegetation, the sea, down there – and I can clearly make out, quite distinctly even, the lights of the coast guards. At this altitude, lanterns provide the only light. The only house to have electricity here is mine, Villa Iguana, a palace pervaded by heat and humid breezes, palace of my dreams. Doleful retreat far from the spotlight. Far from her.

Images return – stronger this evening. She is there. Her presence is palpable. And yet, she does not love me. No, she never loved me. I gave it all up because of her. The pain destroyed a well-established career. I went away, far from the world, far from Europe, far from Venice especially. Venice. That is where she stabbed me. No, she never loved me.

Mount Iguana was my ultimate refuge. I have lost track of the passing of time, all those days contemplating the sea, the sky, the night, my night soon to be fallen with the burning out of the torches. But tonight, the hour will come, the hour of the ship, the hour of the renewing of my joy. Oh, I’m well aware that I’m confused. I’m an old man now.

Having abandoned me, she haunted me. I had to rebuild myself, I, the mad young hound, I who had elaborated a magnificent lie in order to believe in my redemption.

Did I invent a career as a tenor for myself when I was just a vagabond? I really was going to become a singer. Did drink do for me when reason would have saved me? I was on the point of giving it up. Was it Venice that sucked me into the mesh of its witchcraft? It was in South America that I would find other sensations, other escarpments to provide me with a veritable challenge – the challenge of my moral recovery. It would be my Fitzcarraldo.

How long a road it was! And she, she, always there, mesmerising me; I still see her, silently observing my blond hair, the day I joined her in her dance. Time made no difference. The outside world heightened my suffering.

These last years could be summed up by two newspaper articles. Two items of news that devastated me. The first, that of her death – a magnificent photo of her above an inaccurate obituary -, seven years after my arrival here. The tight-lipped expression of my boy surges up in my memory; his shocked demeanour, newspaper in hand. For he knew: I had told him everything (whom else could I confide in?): Venice, La Fenice, the Excelsior, our nights together, our age difference, her youthful silhouette, despite her seventy years of age, and her legs, my god, her legs! The Countess di Posa Alba. That was the caption printed beneath that cruel photo. Cruel photo, cruel hour, cruel memories.

The wind has risen. It’s more of a breeze and will drop. At present, the villa is plunged into almost total darkness. We will have to light the lanterns. In three hours, the invisible curtain will rise, it will be time, time for my great aria. Philippe’s aria. Philippe II, king of Spain! I shall sing it for myself, for them, of course, but above all, for her! She whose youthful double will sail along the coast, this evening, somewhere between Orabazza Point and Capo Rosso. There again, it was through the newspapers, two months ago, that I found out. Elisabeth di Posa Alba, the granddaughter of the countess, is embarking on her world tour. South America will be her first destination. She will perform notably during a cruise from Montevideo to Valparaiso. The photo of Elisabeth struck me like a gentle explosion. It wasn’t the young opera singer who appeared before me but the countess herself. Sublime reflection. Oh, how the news tortured me, that face risen from the dead. Bitter repetition of history, and the irony of her talent: her granddaughter a singer, was it really possible? My heart shrivelled up, a crisis, a crisis, I was in a state of collapse. O fatal gift! I am an old man now; I am awaiting the last dawn.

I searched out the dates. I calculated the hour of the ship’s passage. I called the shipping company to make sure she was on board. Only yesterday, I checked that the boat had left its previous port of call. And then, I had this mysterious message delivered to her:

Rendez-vous on deck at seventeen minutes past ten, on the landward side.

I got confirmation that she had received it. Seventeen minutes past ten. I perform my great aria.

“She does not love me! No! Her heart is closed to me. She has never loved me!”

It is on deck that she will hear the truth, the ancient truth of Venice, she will hear the truth about her grandmother, and I shall write to her afterwards, I will tell her what happened; but tonight, I shall sing for the one and for the other. I shall sing for them both.

What the audience does not know is that I have had loudspeakers installed all over the mountain, from the amphitheatre to the beach. Membranes turned towards the sea, towards the night of the slow, heavy liner that will slip between Orabazza Point and Capo Rosso, in a few hours, at seventeen minutes past ten. Elisabeth will hear Monte Iguana sing. She will hear the song of my unmitigated sorrow, my unchanging love.

Where am I? In the distance, the watchmen’s lamp flickers. The wind has risen. I am anxious. In the forest, the torches are burning and cast pools of reddish light against the stone. The spectators will soon arrive. They will soon invade the forest, soon listen, admire, applaud, listen to me, admire me, yes, applaud me in the heat and humidity of the jungle. All is ready. At this hour, the ship must be passing the glimmering villages of the Costa Verde; soon she will be here, she will hear me from the deck. Her granddaughter. Elisabeth!

I am going to dress. My costume is hanging in the wardrobe in that vast bedroom where I have spent so many nights, where I have long awaited the ultimate hour. Yes, now I must conceal myself in my royal mantle. They are coming and I must honour them.

On the wall there is a large mirror that reflects my face. I am well made up and yet I am to offer my voice without artifice.

Is it already time? So soon?

…What is happening? What is that noise? The shrieks of startled birds? Animals hidden in the obscurest depths of the jungle? Something piercing, smashing somewhere, something liquid. It’s raining! … Is it possible? The great white drapes billow and entangle themselves. It’s raining! The wind! It’s the wind! For pity’s sake! Ah! The horizon is obscured, the palm trees are twisting, it’s a storm, yes, a storm is coming. Catastrophe… The sea has withdrawn, buried beneath the deluge, the tropical chaos – the watchmen have disappeared: no more light, no more flames, no more torches. Everything swirls up and flies away in the night, white cushions and all. The stones are drowned in water, Elisabeth, Elisabeth – and the ship? Venice drag yourself to me through the crumpled forest. Venice and her last kiss. No, she does not love me, she never loved me!

The festivities are ruined. The fatal hour has rung. Here am I. I advance alone on the patio in my ravaged night.

Stéphane Héaume

© Elena Bauer / OnP

The Irreplaceable Malgorzata


The Irreplaceable Malgorzata

Interview with the scenographer for Don Carlo


By Leyli Daryoush

Malgorzata Szczęśniak has been Krzysztof Warlikowski’s scenographer for three decades and her aesthetic universe is indissociable from the director’s theatrical vision. Graduating from the Art School in Kraków in 1972, she spent the next four years studying philosophy and clinical psychology at the University of Jagielloński. She was awarded a diploma in scenography from the Art School in Kraków in 1984. Here she talks about her work, particularly Don Carlos, the fifth Paris Opera production featuring the Warlikowski- Szczęśniak tandem.

The quest for pure space…

There exists a certain decorative tradition at the opera. Very often, the spatial work consists in making scenic illustrations, creating tableaux that exalt the beauty of the music. My scenographies, on the contrary, are anti-decorative. By decorative, I mean anything added to create a “beautiful” space: flowers, carpets, sculptures…
I am constantly in search of pure space.

Iphigénie en Tauride lors de la reprise à l’Opéra de Paris, 2016
Iphigénie en Tauride lors de la reprise à l’Opéra de Paris, 2016 © Guergana Damianova / OnP

For the staging of my ideas, I always think in terms of architecture. That’s why my scenography in Iphigénie en Tauride1- our first production at the Paris opera – was so detested! Instead of Ancient Greece with its Doric columns, the audience found itself face to face with its own reflection in a mirror occupying an entire wall! The purity of the space comes from the materials used: wood, metal, glass, ceramic, concrete… They all structure the space in an organic way, clarifying and purifying it by their radicality. This approach might seem simple, almost naïve. But each substance has intrinsic qualities of great aesthetic beauty.

The substance of theatre

The choice of materials is always justified by the drama. In Bluebeard’s Castle2, the gloomy, damp walls of the castle were represented by a structure composed of glass panels. Something cold emanated from that substance: thick and completely opaque, it was almost cruel.

Le Château de Barbe-Bleue, Opéra de Paris, 2015
Le Château de Barbe-Bleue, Opéra de Paris, 2015 © Bernd Uhlig / OnP
I use wood a lot, I like its noble quality. In Don Carlos, it is the prime element of the scenography. For this, I drew inspiration from the panelled interiors of the Escurial Palace in Spain. The dramatic significance of wood, however, differs according to the production and the performing space. In The Makropoulos Case3, the wooden space of the cinema auditorium was inspired by Berlin cinemas of the thirties. In Pelléas et Mélisande4, the wood is a reference to the Villa Hügel owned by the Krupp family - a powerful family of industrialists. Although I was inspired by that luxurious villa, the performance area at the Rurhtriennale – the Jahrhunderthalle in Bochum was originally an industrial exhibition hall – a far cry from Opéra Bastille. In that instance, wood seemed to offer a contrasting material, less brutal and warmer than steel.  

The Austerity of El Escorial

The heavy, severe atmosphere of this 15th century Spanish palace is striking. Walls, parquet floors and ceilings, everything is very sombre, in a wide range of browns, burnished gold and dark wood.
The obscure interior of El Escorial is all the more fascinating in that it contrasts violently with the dazzling brightness of the Mediterranean sun and its white light. Of course, the oriental sensuality of Moorish Andalusian palaces with their mashrabiyas – the Nasrides Palace of the Alhambra in Granada – played with these effects of light, but the Reconquista, a century later, imposed strict Catholicism even on the architecture of its interiors.
The austerity of this palace also resonates with the vision of a monarchy marked by the asceticism of the Counter-Reformation. One has only to observe the shadowy tints of the paintings of Zurbarán or the controlled severity of Velazquez's court portraits to appreciate this.

Claustrophobic Intimacy

The religious-historical context and the multiple power stakes make Don Carlos a very complicated opera. However, there are only five main characters in this grand opera! Don Carlo, Philip II, Elisabeth of Valois, Princess Eboli and the Marquis of Posa!

Don Carlos, Opéra de Paris, 2017
Don Carlos, Opéra de Paris, 2017 © Elena Bauer / OnP

Space in Don Carlos is characterised by a distinct opposition between the official life of the court and the secret inner life of the characters. The idea for the scenography came to me at El Escorial – a real labyrinth! And at the Santa Cruz Museum in Toledo. There, I discovered a huge nave, almost bizarre in its dimensions, and a multitude of doors leading to little rooms that, in my imagination, were filled with secrets…
I created an open space, a vast reception hall, with high walls covered with wooden panels and a parquet floor. To this I added “boxes” which arrive on the stage in accordance with the dramatic situation – fencing halls, a private cinema, a prison cell. These closed, almost claustrophobic spaces are a reflection of the inner psyche of the characters.

Advancing with masked countenance…

Secrets abound in Don Carlos. Don Carlos suppresses his anger towards his father who has married the woman he himself loves; Elisabeth hides her love for Don Carlos; Princess Eboli is the king’s mistress but is secretly in love with Don Carlos. All those tortuous loves, those suffocating ties, imprison these unhappy beings in the name of royal dignity.
Masks play an essential role in our production. In the first act, in a space filled with greenery at the entrance to the Convent of Saint Just, Princess Eboli sings the Song of the Veil. To accommodate this aria of oriental inspiration, with the burning question of the veiling of women, I created a closed, interior space – a fencing hall – in which women disguised with masks wield foils with artistry and brio.
The characters also hide behind the mashrabiya. The Monk, a solitary figure prowling around the tomb of Charles Quint in the crypt, is always masked: his enigmatic presence is visible only through the oriental latticework.
In our eyes, the Inquisitor, the most powerful man in the opera, is not blind. Concealing his looks and his emotions behind dark glasses and wearing an undistinguished costume, he advances with masked countenance, almost invisible, spying on every one.

Le Roi Roger, Opéra de Paris, 2009
Le Roi Roger, Opéra de Paris, 2009 © Ruth Walz

Don Carlos, a Melancholy Hamlet

In our interpretation, Don Carlos is a Shakespearean character, a sort of melancholy Hamlet, and the world is perceived from his point of view. For this subjective view, I created an intimate space at the front of the stage. In my scenography for Król Roger5, the forestage area was the theatre of the king’s past visions, flashbacks being the modus operandi for the whole opera. We didn’t go as far in Don Carlos, that relationship with the past was not our objective.
With a narrow strip bordering the orchestral pit, a clear cold line and a grey concrete-like floor, I imagined Don Carlos’s space in terms of the walled-up dungeon of his consciousness. Don Carlos is a prisoner of destiny at every level: through his love for Elisabeth, his submission to his father and his loyalty to the Marquis.
The tableau in the Forest of Fontainebleau at the beginning of the opera is a scene that is not included in the Italian version of Don Carlo. The Infante arrives in France incognito to meet his promised bride. Charmed by her beauty, he reveals his true identity. But their love will be short-lived: his father has changed his mind: it is he who will marry Elisabeth. This cut scene that we find in the French version needed to be restored to the act that follows for dramatic reasons: why does Don Carlos suddenly become a tragic figure? We needed to complexify his character.
This first tableau becomes, then, Don Carlos’ most intimate scene. Situated forestage, he ponders his impossible love for Elisabeth. In desperation, he slashes his wrists. Unconscious, he relives their first meeting in a flashback.
From the very beginning of the opera, Don Carlos is a lost man. We do not know what will become of him at the end of the drama. We encounter the work with questions but we have no answers. We do not know the destinies of the characters.

Don Carlos, Opéra de Paris, 2017
Don Carlos, Opéra de Paris, 2017 © Elena Bauer / OnP

I love contradictions in art!

In spite of the religious splendours of the Counter-Reformation, there is an almost ‘protestant’ rigour in Spanish art. This contradiction can be seen in our choice of costumes and movements.
We avoided spectacular dimensions in the crowd processions in Act II. The chorus, composed of the people, monks and envoys, is installed in a monumental wooden amphitheatre and acts as an observer as it does in protestant theatre. In this fixed framework, emotions are more exalted.
The idea of a large space in the guise of a reception hall is interesting because it permits us to play with the solitude of the characters: in such a vast, bare space, the presence of a solitary being kneeling and praying becomes very powerful!
Throughout the opera, there are six extras, servants dressed in period costumes, who take charge of the entire organisation of the rituals and ceremonies. The Asian origin of these figures is a sidelong reference to immigrant workers from the Middle East.

Fashion in the fifties

In addition to the minimalism of the actors’ movements, there is the sobriety of the costumes. With the exception of some embroidery on the royal train, I drew inspiration from the fashions of the fifties, particularly the rigorous aesthetic of Christian Dior. As a result, my costumes are very structured and not, I suspect, very comfortable!
Post-war fashion reminds me of the costumes in Spanish art, notably the rigid dresses in the court portraits of Velasquez. There is also a painting by Goya which inspired me, a portrait of the Duchess of Alba in a black dress. Indeed, that dress also inspired the designer Balenciaga! In my own way, I transposed that aspect of Iberian dress into a more contemporary aesthetic.

Listen to Don Carlos's playlist

1 Iphigénie en Tauride by W. Christobald Gluck. Directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski ; scénography by Malgorzata Szczęśniak ; lighting design by Felice Ross ; video footage by Denis Guéguin ; Paris, Paris Opera, June 2006
2 Bluebeard’s Castle by Béla Bartók. Directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski; scénography by Malgorzata Szczęśniak; lighting design by Felice Ross; video design by Denis Guéguin; choreography by Claude Bardouil; Paris Opera, November 2016

3 The Macropoulos Case by Leoš Janáček. Directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski; scenography by Malgorzata Szczęśniak; lighting design by Felice Ross; video design by Denis Guéguin. Paris Opera, April 2007

4 Pelléas et Mélisande by Claude Debussy. Directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski; scenography by Malgorzata Szczęśniak; lighting design by Felice Ross; video design by Denis Guéguin; choreography by Claude Bardouil. Ruhrtriennale, Bochum, Jahrhunderthalle, August 2017.

5 Król Roger by Karol Szymanowski. Directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski; scénography by Malgorzata Szczęśniak; lighting design by Felice Ross; video design by Denis Guéguin; Paris, Paris Opera, June 2009

© Ben Zank

Podcast Don Carlos


Podcast Don Carlos

"Dance! Sing! 7 minutes at the Paris Opera" - by France Musique


By Judith Chaine, France Musique

Avec « Dansez ! Chantez ! 7 minutes à l’Opéra de Paris », nous vous proposons des incursions originales dans la programmation de la saison à la faveur d’émissions produites par France Musique et l’Opéra national de Paris. Pour chacune des productions d’opéra et de ballet, Judith Chaine pour le lyrique et Stéphane Grant pour la danse, vous introduisent, avant votre passage dans nos théâtres, aux œuvres et aux artistes que vous allez découvrir.          

Listen to Don Carlos's playlist

© Eléna Bauer / OnP

Constructing Don Carlos



Constructing Don Carlos

Behind the scenes with Krzysztof Warlikowski

By Octave

Bringing together Ildar Abdrazakov, Jonas Kaufmann, Ludovic Tezier, Sonya Yoncheva and Elina Garanča under the baton of Philippe Jordan, Don Carlos also marks the return to the Paris Opera of Krzysztof Warlikowski who, two years ago, offered us a flamboyant Bluebeard’s Castle / La Voix humaine (revived this season). Back to the rehearsals to discover how the director conceived his magnum opus.    

© Eléna Bauer / OnP

Verdian at heart



Verdian at heart

Interview with Ludovic Tézier

By Marion Mirande

Now playing in Don Carlos, the great French baritone lovingly discusses his role as Marquis of Posa and about Giuseppe Verdi's "positive genius".

© Pauline Andrieu

Draw me Don Carlos



Draw me Don Carlos

with Hop'éra !

By Pauline Andrieu

Act 1

In the forests around Fontainebleau the woodcutters bemoan the winter and the interminable war with Spain. But peace between the two countries is meant to be sealed by the marriage of Elisabeth, daughter of Henri II, King of France, and the Spanish Prince Don Carlos. The latter has travelled to France without revealing his identity to observe his future wife. When they meet in the forest, they immediately fall in love. However, in the meantime, the father of Don Carlos, Philip II, has decided that he will marry Elisabeth himself. While the people celebrate the end of the war, the Princess has to resign herself and Don Carlos is left crushed by his father’s decision.

Act 2

As he meditates at the monastery of Saint-Just where his grandfather Emperor Charles V is interred, Carlos believes he hears his grandfather’s voice speaking through a monk. Rodrigue, Marquis of Posa and a childhood friend of Carlos returns from Flanders and persuades Elisabeth to meet with Carlos again. He hopes that she will be able to persuade the King to bring peace to the Spanish-occupied Low Countries. The encounter rekindles their passionate love, however, Elisabeth is obliged to remind the Prince that she is now technically his mother. Carlos takes his leave prior to the King’s arrival. The act closes with King Philip confiding in Rodrigue: the former has his doubts about the relationship between his son and the Queen and warns him against the Inquisition.

Act 3

Celebrations are organised on the eve of Philip’s coronation. The Queen exchanges clothes with Princess Eboli in order to slip out and meet Carlos in the gardens. Believing that he is before the Queen, Carlos effuses words of passion to Eboli. Realising his mistake, and mad with jealousy, Eboli threatens to expose him and the Queen. Rodrigue, who has witnessed the scene, intervenes and intimidates Eboli into silence. He also urges Carlos to leave any compromising documents in his care. As the King is acclaimed by the people, the monks and the Inquisition call for the eternal damnation of the faithless as they prepare for an auto-da-fé. When Carlos Defends the Flemish cause in front of his father, the latter accuses his son of infidelity. Carlos draws his sword but is disarmed by Rodrigue. His intervention is rewarded by the King who elevates Rodrigue to the rank of Duke. The execution of a heretic completes the ceremony.

Act 4

Riven by jealousy, the King is left in despair at Elisabeth’s rejection and by the attitude of his son. The Grand Inquisitor is not opposed to seeing Carlos condemned to death and he also demands that Rodrigue be handed over to him too. But the king refuses to relinquish his new friend. Meanwhile, the Queen, who has been searching for her missing jewel box discovers that it is in Philip’s possession and that inside it he has found the portrait that Carlos gave to her in the forest at Fontainebleau. Faced with the accusation of adultery, the Queen faints. Eboli, who is in love with Carlos, admits to the Queen that she stole the jewel box to incriminate her. The Queen repudiates Eboli, who also happens to be a former mistress of the King, and she leaves her to choose between exile or a convent. Rodrigue visits Carlos in jail and tells him that he has added some of his own documents to the ones Carlos gave him so that he may be seen to be guilty in Carlos’ place. After he is shot and fatally wounded, Rodrigue has just enough time to pass on the message to Elisabeth that Carlos will be waiting for her the following morning at the monastery in Saint-Just. The King, devastated by the death of Rodrigue, goes to the prison to release his son. However, Carlos rejects him and the people, incited by Eboli, storm the jail to free the prince but the Grand Inquisitor confronts them and restores order.

Act 5

A distressed Elisabeth prays before the tomb of Charles V and asks to find peace in death. Carlos comes to bid her farewell prior to his departure for Flanders. But just then, the king and the Grand Inquisitor arrive. They accuse Carlos of treason and order his arrest. A monk hides the prince in a cloister. The king and the Grand Inquisitor are left dumbstruck when they in turn believe that they hear the voice of Emperor Charles V.


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