February 10, 2013
"Don Carlo" is possibly the most intense, deep, nuanced, rich, and masterful work of the "mature" Giuseppe Verdi, an extensive and monumental showcase of everything Verdi. It is also the Verdi opera that exists in the most number of versions. The version of this "Grand Opera" that will officially inaugurate the 2008-09 La Scala Opera Season is the 1884 Four Acts version that Verdi reduced and changed into Italian from the original 1867 Five Acts version in French. The story is based on conflicts in the life of Carlos, Prince of Asturias, after his betrothed Elisabeth of Valois was married instead to his father Philip II of Spain as part of the peace treaty ending the Italian War of 1551-1559 between the Houses of Habsburg and Valois.