3-18 Dec 2004. Conducted by Zubin Mehta, directed by Alberto Fassini from Luchino Visconti, with Roberto Scandiuzzi, Sergej Larin, Carlo Guelfi, Paata Burchuladze.

As the season at La Scala opens, so the winter season at the Teatro Comunale in Florence comes to a close with Don Carlo by Giuseppe Verdi (3-18 Dec). The production, which was seen only seven months ago in Rome, is the classic Luchino Visconti production, with restored scenery and with Alberto Fassini as director. In this version, Zubin Metha is conducting, but the real novelty is in the choice of versions. Verdi presented Don Carlo for the first time in Paris in 1867 as a grand-opera in five acts, in line with French taste. For the Italian stages however, he reduced the acts to four and made considerable cuts to the score. Both versions will be performed in Florence; the five-act edition on 3,7,12 and 16 Dec and the four-act one on 5,10,14 and 18 Dec. There will be two different vocal casts but the more famous names have been reserved for the Paris edition, Roberto Scandiuzzi (Filippo), Fabio Armiliato (Don Carlo), Carlo Guelfi (Rodrigo), Barbara Frittoli (Elisabetta) and Violeta Urmana (Eboli). Teatro Comunale, tel. 1991909910, www.maggiofiorentino.com. Paolo di Nicola

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Address Teatro Comunale, tel. 199109910.

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Don Carlo by Verdi.

Teatro Comunale, tel. 199109910.