Don Carlos

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Don Carlos is a five-act Grand Opera composed by Giuseppe Verdi to a French language libretto by Camille du Locle and Joseph Méry, based on the dramatic play Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien ("Don Carlos, Infante of Spain") by Friedrich Schiller. The story is based on conflicts in the life of Carlos, Prince of Asturias (1545-1568) after his betrothed Elisabeth of Valois was married instead to his father Philip II of Spain as part of the peace treaty ending the Italian War of 1551-1559 between the Houses of Habsburg and Valois. It received its first performance at the Théâtre Impérial de l’Opéra on 11 March 1867.

Over the following twenty years, cuts and additions were made to the opera, resulting in a number of versions being available to directors and conductors. No other Verdi opera exists in so many versions. At its full-length (including the ballet and the cuts made before the first performance), it contains about four hours of music, and is Verdi's longest opera.[1]

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