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VIDEO: First Look At Verdi's DON CARLOS At The Met Opera Presented In French

Tenor Matthew Polenzani sings the title role, with soprano Sonya Yoncheva as Élisabeth de Valois and mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as Eboli.

For the first time in company history, the Metropolitan Opera presents the original five-act French version of Verdi's Don Carlos, with eight performances February 28-March 26. Verdi's epic opera about doomed love during the Spanish Inquisition first premiered in French at the Paris Opera in 1867.

Get a first look at the cast in action!

Verdi later translated the work to Italian with the more common Don Carlo, which has been a staple of the Met's repertory. "The opera was composed in French, and that is evident in the way the words connect to the notes and the melodies," says Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who will lead these performances and who previously conducted the Italian version at the Met in 2010.

The opera demands an exemplary sextet of principal artists, and David McVicar's new staging, which marks his 11th Met production, features an all-star cast. Tenor Matthew Polenzani sings the title role, with soprano Sonya Yoncheva as Élisabeth de Valois and mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as Eboli. Baritone Etienne Dupuis is Rodrigue, and bass-baritones Eric Owens and John Relyea are Philippe II and the Grand Inquisitor.

The creative team-comprising set designer Charles Edwards, costume designer Brigitte Reiffenstuel, lighting designer Adam Silverman, and movement director Leah Hausman-has crafted a vision that captures the struggle for freedom and light amid the darkness and oppression of Inquisition-era Spain.

Don Carlos Worldwide Broadcasts in Cinema, Radio, and Online

The performance of Don Carlos on Saturday, March 26, will be transmitted live to cinemas around the globe as part of The Met: Live in HD series and broadcast over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.

The February 28 and March 18 performances will be will be broadcast live on Met Opera Radio on Sirius XM Channel 355 and streamed live on the Met's website,

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