Don Carlos

Don Carlos

Opera by Giuseppe Verdi
From CHF 17.-
Fri 15 Sep18:00
Sun 17 Sep17:00
Thu 21 Sep18:00
Sun 24 Sep15:00
Tue 26 Sep18:00
Thu 28 Sep18:00
The monarch’s crown is bright with sparkling gems,
But no eye sees the wounds that purchased them.

Friedrich Schiller, Don Karlos, Infant von Spanien (1787), II, 5

Infos & Cast


Infos & Cast

Opera by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle after Friedrich von Schiller’s Don Carlos.
French version in five acts, first performed on 11 March 1867 in Paris
Last performed at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in the Paris version in 1962-1963

New production

15, 21, 26 & 28 September 2023 — 6pm
17 September 2023 — 5pm
24 September 2023 — 3pm

Musical Director Marc Minkowski
Stage Director Lydia Steier
Set design and videos Momme Hinrichs
Costumes Designer Ursula Kudrna
Lighting Designer Felice Ross
Dramaturgy Mark Schachtsiek
Choir Director Alan Woodbridge

Don Carlos, Infante of Spain Charles Castronovo (15, 17, 21, 24 & 26 September 2023) | Leonardo Capalbo (28 September 2023)
Philippe II, King of Spain Dmitry Ulyanov
Elisabeth de Valois Rachel Willis Sørensen
Rodrigue, Marquis of Posa Stéphane Degout
Princess Eboli Eve-Maud Hubeaux
The Grand Inquisiteur Liang Li
Thibault Ena Pongrac
An Old Monk William Meinert
The Count of Lerma Julien Henric
A Voice from Heaven Giulia Bolcato
Flemish Deputies Raphaël Hardmeyer, Avram Benjamin Monfolean, Joé Bertili, Edwin Kaye, Marc Mazuir, Timothée Varon

Grand Théâtre de Genève Chorus
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

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Partner of the season opening


Our season opens with a very grown-up Verdi, a political Verdi, the Verdi of Don Carlos. Led by conductor Marc Minkowski, we continue our exploration of the continent of French Grand Opera after Les Huguenots (2020) and La Juive (2022), even if Verdi’s last Parisian work was especially successful in its Italian version, itself largely translated from the French one. In 1867, Giuseppe Verdi was at the height of his career; he already had more than twenty operas under his belt and reluctantly accepted this new commission from the Paris Opera. After a very difficult period of composition, during which the piece did not really reach its final maturity, il maestro left us the choice of multiple versions of his magnum opus. Friedrich Schiller’s play Don Karlos, Infant von Spanien, created 80 years earlier, served as the framework for the composer and his successive librettists. Land of honour and hubris, the Spain of Philip II, dominated by the omnipresent Inquisition, is the backdrop for the characters sprung from Schiller’s aesthetic ideal of Sturm und Drang. Between emotion and ideology, Verdi employs these characters to expose the backstage of power and denounce religious fanaticism, but also to present their contradictions, if not their actions, as more human.

Director Lydia Steier, who brought us Les Indes galantes in 2019, comes back to Geneva with a grandiose portrayal of absolutism and the culture of secrecy. In a dystopian society where every move is recorded and reported and can be used against anyone at any time, the characters survive in shades of yellow. Distanced from truth and idealism, they are creatures of fear in a dark and claustrophobic universe where even King Philip II, played by the Russian bass Dimitry Ulyanov, (who we see again after War and Peace, La Juive and Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District) is apparently not the only one to hold power. The Marquis de Posa, sung by the renowned French baritone Stéphane Degout, turns into a dangerous politician whose opportunism has devoured any trace of optimism, as does the scheming Princess Eboli – Swiss mezzo Ève-Maud Hubeaux, a rising star of the opera skies. The unhappy couple Don Carlos/Élisabeth de Valois, doomed to a tragic fate, is sung by two US artists, Charles Castronovo and Rachel Willis-Sørensen.




Don Carlos at La Plage

Éclairage 12.9.2023
En coulisse 24.9.2023
Intropéra 45 minutes before each performance


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Photo Credit
© GTG / Marc Asekhame