The exclamation of the Marquis of Posa »allow freedom of thought, sire« is not only the key sentence of the drama DON CARLOS, but can now also be heard at a number of Corona demonstrations. The political dimension of the Spanish Inquisition, its instruments of repression and concealment to maintain power, can also be found in a modified form in Belarus or the USA. The topicality of the material is not yet known in 16th century Spain. Religious wars are raging in the country and family tragedy at the royal court. Don Carlos is unhappily in love with his stepmother. Originally, Elisabeth of Valois was promised to him until she consented to the politically motivated marriage to his father, King Philip II. The latter deprives Carlos not only of his wife, but also of the chance of political responsibility. Then his childhood friend Marquis von Posa appears. The ardent idealist hopes to find a comrade-in-arms to free the provinces of Flanders from the Spanish crown. A series of intrigues arises, fuelling jealousy and loneliness and making moral conviction take a back seat to the suppressed desire for power.
Jürgen Flimm, former artistic director of the Schauspiel Köln (1979-1985) and long-time director of the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Thalia Theater, returns to Cologne with this classic piece.