Plácido Domingo, global opera icon and the Eli and Edythe Broad General Director of LA Opera, returns to Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University on Monday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m., performing in a concert version of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Don Carlo” with its full LA Opera cast and the LA Opera Chorus and Orchestra conducted by James Conlon.
Underwriters for the presentation are Marybelle and S. Paul Musco and The Honorable Milan Panic. Doy Henley is co-sponsor.
“Opera is back in Orange County, and in a very big way,” said Paul Musco. “Plácido Domingo and LA Opera’s work with Musco Center continues to elevate opera’s presence here, and we’re honored to be a part of this history in the making. Marybelle, Milan Panic, Doy Henley and I believe in the resurgence of the grandest of all art forms. We cannot do it alone, we need your financial support.”
The “Don Carlo” concert performance is presented by Musco Center for the Arts in association with LA Opera. A limited number of tickets are still available—the public can call 844-OC-MUSCO (844-626-8726) or purchase online at www.muscocenter.org.
“Don Carlo” is a riveting tale of morality and mortality, starring renowned tenor Ramón Vargas in the title role and Maestro Domingo as his heroic friend Rodrigo. Ana Maria Martinez performs the role of Elisabeth de Valois, with Anna Smirnova as Princess Eboli and Ferruccio Furlanetto as King Philip II for this special performance in the center’s acclaimed concert hall.
“Maestro Domingo and LA Opera’s affiliation with Musco Center creates a highly visible relationship that’s galvanizing opera fans in Orange County,” said Richard T. Bryant, Musco Center Executive Director. “‘Don Carlo’ brings more principals to the stage than ever before, as Musco Center continues its ascent as a leading destination for performing artists and students of the performing arts.”
In addition to the public performance of “Don Carlo,” LA Opera in association with Musco Center will offer a Master Class led by an LA Opera principal. This marks the first of many Musco Master Class programs throughout the season, developing and inspiring future generations of performing artists. In addition to the master class, students from Chapman’s College of Performing Arts will assist at the Center on the day of the public performance, and Chapman opera seniors will attend the performance free of charge. This master class provides students with the opportunity to advance their education and cultural literacy, and to experience and engage with elite productions and performers.
“Musco Center connects students with renowned performers of all disciplines,” said Dr. William Hall, founding Dean and Artistic Director for the Musco Center for the Arts. “The Master Class program offers students access to the highest levels of arts education, production and performance. Because of this initiative, students have an opportunity to learn from, and be critiqued by, some of the finest musicians in the world.”
Plácido Domingo’s connection to Chapman University stems from a longtime friendship with S. Paul and Marybelle Musco. The Newport Beach couple led the campaign for the $82 million Musco Center for the Arts, and graciously welcomed Maestro Domingo’s support since the facility’s inception. The opera legend was present when the center broke ground in 2012, when he turned over the first ceremonial shovelful of earth. Appearing annually since Musco Center’s grand opening in 2016, Maestro Domingo returns for this one-night-only concert version of LA Opera’s “Don Carlo.”
About LA Opera’s “Don Carlo”
Giuseppe Verdi’s “Don Carlo” is a treasured libretto and considered one of his grandest works, based on Friedrich von Schiller’s play “Don Karlos, Infant von Spanien,” a tragedy in five acts. Rich orchestrations, rapturous melodies and resounding choruses bring Verdi’s emotional piece to life. The poignant drama explores conflicts between love, friendship, idealism and duty. The story of Don Carlo is largely fictional, but the characters, Don Carlos, King Philip of Spain and Princess Eboli, are actual historical figures.
Verdi’s drama contains a Shakespearean truth and profundity of characterizations, taking place during the late Renaissance at the height of the Spanish Empire. France and Spain have finally negotiated peace after years of war. Don Carlo, son of the King of Spain, had fallen in love with a French princess, to whom he had been betrothed as part of the peace negotiations. But when his widowed father, the king of Spain, decides to marry her himself, the broken-hearted Don Carlo realigns his sympathies and turns against the Spanish Inquisition, knowing that his vow to fight for liberty might ultimately cost him his life.
“Don Carlo” was first performed in Paris at Salle Le Peletier on March 11, 1867. The opera legend Plácido Domingo, the mighty LA Opera Chorus and Orchestra, and a superstar cast join forces to bring this production to Musco Center for the Arts conducted by James Conlon. These are the same performing forces that will be featured in LA Opera’s staged production of “Don Carlo.”