Front Page Titles (by Subject) ARGUMENT - Don Carlos: Opera in Four Acts
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ARGUMENT - Giuseppe Verdi, Don Carlos: Opera in Four Acts 
Don Carlos: Opera in Four Acts (New York: Fred Rullman, 1920). Metropolitan Opera House, Grand Opera, Libretto.
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Don Carlos, son of Philip II., and Crown Prince of Spain, is the affianced lover of the beautiful Elizabeth of Valois, daughter of Henry II., of France. State reasons, however, induce the French monarch to set aside the engagement contracted by the young lovers, and to confer his daughter’s hand on Philip II., the powerful King of Spain. The royal marriage is duly solemnized, but the unfortunate Don Carlos finds himself utterly unable to subdue his passion for Elizabeth, now his father’s bride. He confides the secret of his passion to his trusty friend and companion, the Marquis of Posa, who enjoins him to banish the recollection of his ill-starred affection by departing for Flanders, and protecting the oppressed inhabitants from the cruel ravages of the Spanish soldiers. Don Carlos, through the medium of his friend, obtains an interview with the Queen, and implores her to procure for him the requisite permission from the King. Their interview, however, only serves to re-awaken, with increased intensity, their ill-concealed affection. Elizabeth, overcome by the vehemence of the young Prince’s passion confesses that she still loves him, and Don Carlos, tortured by conflicting emotions, and forgetful of aught else save his unconquerable passion, presses the Queen to his heart, and flies hurriedly from the spot. The secret of the Queen’s ardent, though innocent affection for Don Carlos, is discovered by the Princess Eboli, who is herself deeply attached to the young Prince. Stung to the quick by the Prince’s rejection of her love, Eboli makes known to Philip the affection existing between the Queen and Don Carlos. By Eboli’s intervention, Philip obtains possession of the Queen’s casket, which is found to contain a portrait of the young Prince. The King, already deeply incensed against his son for his sympathy with the oppressed Flemings, is now almost maddened by the fearful suspicions, which lie gnawing at his heart and drive sleep from his pillow. He holds counsel with the Grand Inquisitor, as to the course to be adopted, and forthwith causes his son to be immured in a dungeon. While in prison, Carlos is visited by his faithful friend, Rodrigo. This nobleman’s merits have attracted the notice of the King, whose favorite and confidant he has now become. Rodrigo’s enlightened views and “innovating” tendencies, have, however, excited the suspicion of the Grand Inquisitor, who accuses him to the King of fostering heretical opinions in the mind not only of Don Carlos, but even in that of his royal master. His death is resolved on, and while consoling the afflicted Carlos in his gloomy prison, a shot from an arquebuse reaches Rodrigo’s heart. Carlos falls senseless on the body of his murdered friend. The populace incensed at the imprisonment of their beloved prince, clamor furiously at the Palace gates, and a serious outbreak is only prevented by the timely intercession of the Grand Inquisitor. Carlos, released from prison, hastens to the monastery of St. Just, to bid a last farewell to the Queen, who has appointed to meet him under cover of night, amid the deserted cloisters, which the shade of the mighty Charles V., in the semblance of a monk, is said at times to revisit. The Queen is earnestly exhorting Don Carlos to seek forgetfulness of the past in heroic efforts on behalf of the suffering Flemings, when their interview is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of the King, who has received information of their clandestine meeting. Heedless of aught, save his unjust suspicions, the infuriated monarch delivers his son to the officers of the Inquisition, and as the unhappy Carlos is borne away by the myrmidons of the dreaded institution, the curtain falls.