Seven Things About Don Carlo To Look Forward To!

On Sept. 22, LA Opera opens its 2018-19 season with Verdi’s timeless classic 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 morality and mortality.

Rehearsals are already well underway for the performance, and the artists and staff are busy preparing for opening night. Here are seven facts about LA Opera’s upcoming revival of Don Carlo to look forward to!

A scene from LA Opera's production of "Don Carlo." (Photo credit: Robert Millard / LA Opera)

A scene from LA Opera’s production of Don Carlo. (Photo credit: Robert Millard / LA Opera)

Plácido Domingo Returns

Placido Domingo in the title role of LA Opera's 2017 production of "Nabucco." (Photo: Ken Howard / LA Opera)

Placido Domingo in the title role of LA Opera’s 2017 production of Nabucco. (Photo: Ken Howard / LA Opera)

Maestro Plácido Domingo was recently lauded by The New York Times for his extraordinary career feat: an unprecedented 150 roles under his belt. Among these 150 roles, Maestro Domingo last performed on the LA Opera stage in last season’s production of Nabucco. He returns for yet another Verdi masterpiece as Rodrigo di Posa, a role he added to his repertoire only last year in Vienna. Rodrigo is one of 11 new Verdi baritone roles Maestro Domingo has performed in the last decade.

Familiar Faces

Soprano Ana Maria Martinez and Bass Morris Robinson will both appear in LA Opera's 2018 production of Don Carlo

Soprano Ana María Martínez and bass Morris Robinson will both appear in LA Opera’s 2018 production of Don Carlo (Photo: Ken Howard/LA Opera)

In addition to Maestro Domingo, several LA Opera favorites will make triumphant returns for Don Carlo. Ana María Martínez, who appeared in the 2017/18 season in Bizet’s Carmen and was last seen in Plácido Domingo’s 50th Anniversary Concert, performs the role of the steadfast Elisabeth of Valois. Bass Morris Robinson, another staple of LA Opera, also returns in Don Carlo as the Grand Inquisitor. Both artists will be seen again on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage later this season — with Robinson appearing as Parsi Rustomji in Satyagraha, and Martínez as Solea in El Gato Montés: The Wildcat.

The ‘Milan Version’

A scene from LA Opera's production of "Don Carlo." (Photo credit: Robert Millard / LA Opera)

A scene from LA Opera’s production of Don Carlo. (Photo credit: Robert Millard / LA Opera)

The first production of Don Carlo was commissioned by Théâtre Impérial de l’Opéra (now known as Opéra National de Paris) in March 1867, and was originally performed in French in five acts. However, like many operas of the time, Don Carlo underwent many revisions and rewrites before Verdi got it just right. Fast forward almost two centuries, and many of the different versions are still performed today. The version LA Opera is producing is known as the ‘Milan version’, and will be performed in four acts and in Italian.

Annual Simulcast

Audiences enjoying LA Opera's free, live simulcast of Bizet's Carmen at Exposition Park in 2017 (Photo: Forest Casey)

Audiences enjoying LA Opera’s free, live simulcast of Bizet’s Carmen at Exposition Park in 2017 (Photo: Forest Casey)

This year, LA Opera will present Don Carlo as the feature for its annual simulcast on Sept. 22! The performance will be broadcast live from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage to the big screen at both the Santa Monica Pier and El Cariso Community Regional Park in Sylmar. Click here for more information about the free, live simulcast!

Young Artists Reign

Mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven, tenor Joshua Wheeker and soprano Liv Redpath. All artists are members of LA Opera's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program.

Mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven, tenor Joshua Wheeker and soprano Liv Redpath. All artists are members of LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program.

As always, the ‘secret sauce’ to many of LA Opera’s productions is the participation of our singers in the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. There are three young artists performing in Don Carlo — mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven sings the role of Tebaldo, tenor Joshua Wheeker performs the Count of Lerma and soprano Liv Redpath sings Voce dal Cielo (The Celestial Voice).

A ‘Stunning Revival’

A scene from LA Opera’s production of Don Carlo. (Photo credit: Robert Millard / LA Opera)

LA Opera’s stunning yet morbid production of Don Carlo premiered in 2006, originally directed by Ian Judge. At its premiere, it was called “A stunning revival” and was said to have “created an extraordinary realization of the drama and music in Verdi’s huge, rawboned and rarely performed operatic masterpiece” (Variety). This is the first time Don Carlo returns to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion since 2006, with director Louisa Muller taking over for Judge this season.

Maestro James Conlon

James Conlon, Richard Seaver Music Director of LA Opera (Photo: Robert Millard)

James Conlon, Richard Seaver Music Director of LA Opera (Photo: Robert Millard)

Of course, we can’t talk about the astonishingly magnificent music of Giuseppe Verdi without including Maestro James Conlon, LA Opera’s Richard Seaver Music Director. Though Maestro Conlon’s repertoire spans from the classical through the contemporary periods (he will conduct over 35 performances of seven works this year alone!), he has a proclivity for the operas of Verdi. In fact, this production of Don Carlo marks his 50th time he will perform this piece. Among his performances in the pit at LA Opera this year, Conlon will again conduct another Verdi classic later in season with La Traviata in June.

For more information or to purchase tickets for Don Carlo, click here.

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5 Responses to Seven Things About Don Carlo To Look Forward To!

  1. Moira Clegg says:

    Going twice: Once on Thursday, my subscription night, and once to catch Ferruccio Furlanetto!
    Thank you, James Conlon, Placido Domingo, also Saimir Pirgui and many other great singers.
    I am very glad you have never changed the green and gold of the carpet and stair rails! A second home.

  2. Maria Nockion says:

    Some of the artists pictured in the 2006 performances are not named. Who was the Elizabeth? I recognize Dolora Zajick as the Eboli. I remember she was terrific, too.

  3. Linda Gruenberg says:

    Yes, I agree wholeheartedly Moira,
    Indeed a second home….a home with echoes of musical genius imbedded in every inch of its structure. Memories flood my heart and soul …….memories that will last forever, for all of us lucky enough to gratefully inhabit the Dorothy Chandler for fleeting moments of magic.

  4. Barbara Samuels says:

    I want to place Don Carlo into my calendar. Where do I go to look it up?

  5. Barbara Samuels says:

    I want to place Don Carlo into my calendar. Where do I go to look it up?

    NEVER MIND, I HAVE TICKETS FOR THE 14TH. SORRY!

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