“Domingo easily outshines his earlier recording with Giulini…while Katia Ricciarelli as the Queen gives a tenderly moving performance, if not quite commanding enough in the Act V aria. Ruggero Raimondi is a finely focused Philip, nicely contrasted with Nicolai Ghiaurov as the Grand Inquisitor” Penguin Guide
In the second half of the 16th century, a peace treaty between France and Spain is to be sealed by the marriage of the Princess Elizabeth of Valois, daughter of Henry II, and Don Carlos, son of Philipp II and heir of the Spanish throne. When Don Carlos (Jonas Kaufmann) and her future spouse meet for the first time, they fall in love on sight, although they both were apprehensive over their marriage to a stranger. But their happiness does not last long, because the peace treaty arrangements have been altered: Henry II now intends to marry his daughter to King Philip himself. To ensure peace between France and Spain, Elizabeth consents, and lets Carlos devastated. As ever in Verdi's masterpieces, Don Carlo's story takes its roots in the political and religious situation of Europe. Just like in a Racinian tragedy, the lovers' path is determined by a political situation which overwhelms them.
Arthaus presents the world première of the unabridged version of Don Carlos at the Vienna State Opera, in a staging by the world renowned German director Peter Konwitschny. This staging in its unabridged version remains true to Giuseppe Verdi’s original vision of his grand opera, when it was premiered in Paris in 1867… Johannes Leiacker