English National Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera. They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original. It used to be thought that Verdi miscalculated with this attempt at a “grand opera” in the French style. This guide demonstrates that Don Carlos was – and remains – an extraordinary achievement in melding two opposing visions of opera: the spectacular public aspect of the French tradition with the dramatic concision of the Italian. And because of the variety of versions which Verdi sanctioned, this debate is open-ended.
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