It wasn’t the first time that Giuseppe Verdi had a run-in with Don Carlos. By the beginning of the decade of 1850 he had evaluated –and rejected- the idea of composing an opera based on the text by Freidrich von Schiller about the Spanish Princess.
More than a decade later, he would take up this theme again with enthusiasm, delving into the project, as he usually did, implicating himself in the entire process of gestation, from the structure and contents of the libretto up to certain rehearsals where he would continue to suggest important changes.
The initial result was of such a magnitude that the work was to be quite indigestible, and was then subjected to more revisions and cuts than any of his previous operas. At any rate, Verdi never worked in vain, and hence each and every one of the scenes that Don Carlo contained, includes reflections on very profound issues: the evil consequences of power, disappointing paternity, the arrogance of the Church or unattainable love.
Both composer and librettist would take advantage of a literary re-creation of historic events in order to construct a history of an incredible dramatic richness which reflected, in spite of its fictional elements and inexactitudes, the intrigues that undeniably occurred between the palace walls of the period.