The new Hungarian State Opera production of Don Carlo premieres online

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The five-act, Modena version of Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece is the next premiere in the paid stream series of the Hungarian State Opera. Featuring international guest star Gaston Rivero in the title role, Frank Hilbrich’s new production of Don Carlo can be viewed on 20 February 2021, at 8:00 p.m. (CET) on jegy.hu.

"16th-century Spain. State and church are engaged in a ruthless and devastating struggle for dominance over the people. Every rebellion and every attempt to establish a humane social order is strangled at birth. Humanistic ideals are doomed to death from the start, and those professing them find themselves being burnt at the stake by the Inquisition. The greatest victim in all of this is none other than the king’s son, the prince Don Carlo. He is the one who dares to love, to step up for the freedom of the oppressed people and to challenge both the church and the state, shaking up their system of power."

This is the take of Frank Hilbrich, the director of the production, who has long been recognised across the German-speaking world, earned his international reputation chiefly with Wagnerian productions, as well as with contemporary operas. The sets of the new production rich in symbolism were designed by Volker Thiele, the costumes evoking the trends of present day were created by Gabriele Ruprecht.

A recurring guest in Budapest, the title role is performed by Uruguay-born tenor Gaston Rivero, who made his debut in the same role at the Hungarian State Opera in 2013, later returned as Dick Johnson for the 2018 production of La fanciulla del West. Further cast includes internationally acclaimed Hungarian soloists Gábor Bretz as Filippo II, Csaba Szegedi as Posa, Erika Gál as Eboli, András Palerdi as Grand Inquisitor, whereas the role of Elisabeth is performed by a young talent, Zsuzsanna Ádám. The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra and Chorus (chorus master: Gábor Csiki) are conducted by general music director Balázs Kocsár.

Rehearsal photo by Attila Nagy

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