By September 3, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

LA Opera presents Verdi’s Don Carlo starring Plácido Domingo

LA Opera presents Verdi’s Don Carlo
starring Plácido Domingo
and conducted by James Conlon

September 22 through October 14



Don’t miss…….Plácido Domingo, LA Opera’s Eli and Edythe Broad General Director, has announced final details about the company’s season-opening presentation of Giuseppe Verdi’s monumental Don Carlo.

“I have long considered Don Carlo to be one of Verdi’s greatest achievements,” said Mr. Domingo. “Earlier in my career, I had the honor of performing the leading tenor role opposite a number of distinguished baritones as Rodrigo. I always felt that Verdi’s deep admiration for the freedom-loving Rodrigo shines through in his beautiful music. It is a thrill for me now to take on this gratifying role myself.”

Don Carlo will be presented from September 22 through October 14 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012).

About Don Carlo
With rich orchestrations, thundering choruses and an endless flow of rapturous melodies, one of Verdi’s grandest and greatest works is an enthralling tale of resistance, romance and rivalry. When the king of Spain marries a young French princess, the crown prince Don Carlo is devastated to lose the woman who had captured his heart. Inspired by his heroic best friend, he rebels against his father, incurring the wrath of the Spanish Inquisition.

The Performers
Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas sings the role of Don Carlo, his first appearance with LA Opera since 1999. Soprano Ana María Martínez, an Operalia winner, performs the role of Elisabeth de Valois—her seventh leading role in Los Angeles. Russian mezzo-soprano Anna Smirnova makes her LA Opera debut as the fiery Princess Eboli. Plácido Domingo sings the baritone role of Rodrigo, Carlo’s devoted friend. Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto—who made his company debut in 2006 as King Philip II—reprises the role of King Philip for the two September performances; the remaining performances will feature bass Alexander Vinogradov in that role, returning after his 2017 company debut as Escamillo in Carmen. Bass Morris Robinson returns as the Grand Inquisitor, and bass Soloman Howard returns as the Friar.

The cast will also feature three members of LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program: mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven as Tebaldo, tenor Joshua Wheeker as Count di Lerma, and soprano Liv Redpath as the Celestial Voice.

The Creative Team
James Conlon, LA Opera’s Richard Seaver Music Director, conducts a revival of a production previously presented in Los Angeles in 2006, and Louisa Muller makes her company debut as stage director. The scenery is designed by John Gunter and the costumes are designed by Tim Goodchild. Rick Fisher is the lighting designer. Grant Gershon, LA Opera’s Resident Conductor, is the chorus director and Kitty McNamee is the choreographer.

Performance Dates and Times
There will be six performances of Don Carlo presented by LA Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012):

• Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 6pm
• Saturday, September 29, 2018, at 7:30pm
• Thursday, October 4, 2018, at 7:30pm
• Sunday, October 7, 2018, at 2pm
• Thursday, October 11, 2018, at 7:30pm
• Sunday, October 14, 2018, at 2pm

There will also be a concert performance of Don Carlo presented at 7:30pm on Monday, October 1, at the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University (1 University Drive, Orange, CA 92866). For information about this performance, please visit

Tickets are on sale now. Tickets begin at $24 and can be purchased online at, by phone at 213.972.8001, or in person at the LA Opera box office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012). For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or email

For additional information about this presentation, visit

Posted 9/26/2018

Opening Night Review

Viva Verdi — Viva LA Opera!

Don Carlo is the avid music buff’s “must see” opera. Lauded as one of the best operas ever written by Giuseppe Verdi, said to be the greatest and most popular opera composer of the nineteenth century.  Verdi was part of the movement who used music as a political tool to express ideals of freedom and equality.  We see this in the character of Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa; a passionate, untiring advocate of justice and freedom amid the tyranny of the Spanish Inquisition.  The characters in Don Carlo represent the Verdi essence of understanding the human condition in all its strength and weaknesses.

Placido Domingo, the world’s greatest living opera singer, James Conlon conducting, and the entire talented cast, chorus and orchestra deliver the genius of Verdi on Opening Night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilon.

Domingo, as the baritone Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa is spectacular with tenor Ramon Vargas (Don Carlo) singing two magnificent arias with a masterful show of bravura in the prison scene.  The musical highlight is the beloved duet “Dio, che nell’alm infondere”.

A fantastic performance by mezzo-soprano Anna Smirnova, making her LA Opera debut, plays the role of Princess Eboli with vigor — she flirts her way around the court amusing and delighting the audience.

Soprano Ana Martinez performs the role of Elisabeth de Valois with brilliance. Ferruccio Furlanetto one of the foremost Italian basses of his generation, reprises the role of King Philip II.

Libretto by Joseph Mery and Camille du Locle is performed in the four-act Italian version of the score, which does not include the opening sequence in the five-act French version of 1867. Instead, the plot picks up ten years after Don Carlo and Elisabeth de Valois fall in love in the forest of Fontainebleau.

Louisa Muller makes her company debut as stage director with bold religious choices.

At 51 years of age, Verdi was enjoying the life of a wealthy gentleman farmer and said he would never write another opera.  That changed when in 1865 the Paris Opera offered Verdi a commission for a new opera. The source of his plot was the historical dramatic play Don Carlos by Friedrich Schiller. Don Carlo is loosely based on historical figures of the time. The setting is the court of Philip II of Spain, a Catholic, in conflict with his son — not only over the fate of the Flemish who are Protestants about to face the horrors of the Inquisition, but discovers his son is in love with his wife whom he recently married for political reasons.  Philip has to make the heart wrenching decision to arrest his son who will face death as penalty for treason.

A traumatic pivotal scene is a display of unbelievable loyalty by Rodigo, when he takes his own life to save that of Don Carlo’s.

Don Carlo is an opera filled with human pain and suffering.  After several revisions of the opera, this 4-act version’s ending is as mysterious as Verdi was.

Performance dates from September 29th through October 14th, 2018. Tickets can be purchased at:


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