Opera by Giuseppe Verdi in two acts with one intermission
Premiere at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre on March 4, 2016
In 2016, Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre’s premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Don Carlo” immediately turned into one of the most significant theatre productions, and the extremely diverse opinions that it caused only prove the fact that this version of Verdi’s masterpiece generates a very strong impact on its viewers. And how could it be any different? After all, “Don Carlo” (which is perceived as a representation of the grand opera genre) is a majestic work of art not only because of its wonderful musical material, but also due to the impressive historical characters and dramatic storyline. The creative team of the current production presented their own version, refusing all sorts of theatrical illustrations and instead focusing on the revelation of the deepest layers of meaning hidden within music and text. This new production of “Don Carlo” was created by the famous German visionary director Günter Krämer, prominent conductor Pierre Vallet, who is in demand all over the world, and set designer-dramaturg Herbert Schäfer.
Verdi’s “Don Carlo” was first unveiled to the audiences in 1867, in Paris. Opera itself was written after Friedrich Schiller’s play. The latter contained everything that Verdi was looking for: having left behind superficial dramatic theatricality and librettos filled with romantic passions, he settled upon works that displayed a great deal of concealed tragedy. These works no longer possessed the overactive action on the exterior – instead, they were overflowing with inner turmoil, quests to find the real human values and longing for humanity itself.
Krämer’s production is filled with unexpected theatrical solutions and interesting correlations. He was affected and inspired by the rock star David Bowie’s spectacular farewell message, his final album “Blackstar”. Since one of the central scenes of “Don Carlo” is that of an auto-da-fe arranged by the Spanish Inquisition, the aesthetics of the video for album’s title song “Blackstar” have become certain point of departure for the staging.