Also a grand opera
by Giuseppe Verdi
, based on the Schiller play. (Also known as Don Carlo, in its French
The play appealed to Verdi's love of liberty
, on both individual and national
Because the play has five strong characters -- Don Carlos (tenor), Elizabeth (soprano), Princess Eboli (mezzo, spurned suitor to Carlos), Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa (baritone), and King Phillip II (bass) -- there are some terrific ensemble scenes. Its five acts (in the full version, although it is sometimes performed in only four) form a pyramid structure: Act I shows Carlos and Elizabeth meeting in the forest outside Fontainebleau, then being torn apart by the news that Elizabeth is to marry Phillip instead. The action rises to a climactic auto da fe in Act III, and plunges back down to Elizabeth and Carlos's farewell in the final act.