Opera in five acts
Libretto by François Joseph Pierre Méry and Camille du Locle based on the dramatic poem Don Karlos, Infant von Spanien by Friedrich Schiller and the drama Philippe II., roi d’Espagne by Eugène Cormon
Who grants us freedom of thought? For Giuseppe Verdi even more than for Friedrich Schiller a question that should not be asked purely under the tyranny of kings: „After all, in this drama are neither historical facts nor Shakespearian truth to be found”, said Verdi about his opera Don Carlos, when he revised the composition yet again in the 1880s. Verdi’s interpretation of Schiller’s libertarian drama about the Spanish successor not only focuses on the fate of monarchs, but mostly on the kind of totalitarianism that understands people as material – long before the 20th century’s terror became a reality. Dutch director Lotte de Beer projects the story into a not too distant future where religiously radical tendencies prevail and where the terror of the past might experience a revival.