Theatre / Don Carlo
is an opera by Giuseppe Verdi
, after the play Don Carlos
by Friedrich von Schiller. The plot of both the play and the opera is very
loosely based on the events surrounding the real Don Carlos, son of Philip II, King of Spain. Basically, it goes like this: Don Carlos, the Prince of Spain, was engaged to the French princess Elisabeth of Valois, but just as the two lovebirds meet and strike Love at First Sight
, Carlos' father, King Philip, decides to take the girl for himself. There's also Don Carlos' best friend Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa, who tries to get Carlos to help the oppressed region of Flanders
, there's the Princess of Eboli stalking
Don Carlos, and many other characters with their own issues. Being an opera, it does not end well
was originally composed for the Paris opera (as Don Carlos
) and was translated into Italian later. Now, though, the Italian version is more common.
- Anti-Villain: Arguably, King Philip. He's not villainous but stern, bitter and severe towards both his wife and son, and his actions eventually lead to a Downer Ending.
- Arranged Marriage: Elisabeth with Carlos. Takes an unexpected and tragic turn when Philip marries her instead.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: for Philip. Carlos spoils it big time.
- Betty and Veronica: Elisabeth and Eboli
- BSOD Song:
- Io l'ho perduta (Carlos)
- Ella giammai m'aṃ (King Philip)
- Tu che la vanità (Elisabeth)
- O don fatale (Eboli). Verdi loved this trope.
- Childhood Friends: Carlos and Rodrigo are implied to be this.
- Costume Porn: In traditional productions.
- Crosscast Role: the page Thibault/Tebaldo
- Death Is Dramatic: It's an opera...
- Death Song: O Carlo, ascolta... Io morṛ
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: How Rodrigo dies in most productions.
- Deus Angst Machina: All over the place.
- Downer Ending: Rodrigo is killed, Carlos is either killed or dragged into the monastery by his grandad's ghost (or whatever the Monk is), Elisabeth falls unconscious and may also be dead, for all we know.
- Et Tu, Brute?: "Tu?... Rodrigo?..." Subverted: Rodrigo doesn't actually betray Carlos, he does what he does to save him.
- Eyepatch of Power: Eboli in some productions. Truth in Television: the real Ana de Mendoza, Princess of Eboli, did have an eyepatch, having lost an eye due to an accident.
- Femme Fatale: Eboli.
- Follow the Leader: The political part of the plot concerns Carlos supporting the Dutch rebellion against his father who is about to send the Duke of Alba to crush it. Reliable sources tell that this essential plot thread - a rebellious son who supports a rebellion against his father - inspired George Lucas when he hatched the plotline of Star Wars in 1977.
- Friendship Moment: Dio, che nell'alma infondere, the duet between Don Carlo and Rodrigo. Indeed, it's often called simply the Friendship Duet.
- The Fundamentalist: the Grand Inquisitor
- Gorgeous Period Dresses: If the production isn't an avant-garde one.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Philip and Eboli both are very jealous.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Rodrigo
- King Incognito: the mysterious monk in the monastery of Saint-Just is Philip's father, King Carlos V.
- Love Triangle: Carlos-Philip-Elisabeth and Carlos-Eboli-Elisabeth.
- May-December Romance: May-December marriage, to be exact. Philip is much older than Elisabeth.
- Messianic Archetype: Rodrigo
- My God, What Have I Done?: Philip, after Rodrigo is killed by the Inquisition.
- Offing the Offspring: What the Grand Inquisitor forces Philip to do.
- Opening Chorus: both in 5 act and 4 act versions.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Carlos will take masked Eboli for the Queen, even if the two ladies are nothing alike.
- Parental Issues: Carlos. And how!
- Rebel Prince: Carlos tries to be this, but unsuccessfully.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Rodrigo. He sacrificed himself to free Carlos so that the latter could help Flanders, but Carlos is either dead or missing in the end. Even if he stayed alive, it's highly unlikely that he would have been able to do what Rodrigo wanted.
- Sinister Minister: the Grand Inquisitor.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Carlos and Elisabeth.
- The Spanish Inquisition
- Tenor Boy: Carlos
- The Unfavourite: Carlos
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Elisabeth
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Rodrigo
- Yandere: Eboli
- You're Not My Father: Carlos says this almost verbatim after Rodrigo is killed by Philip's tacit consent.