This production of "Don Carlo" (1867) by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)is superb. I think that James Levine is a great conductor.
Plácido Domingo as Don Carlo is great. He represents the lack of hopeness by a charming way in his aria "O ben perduto" in the first act. His duet with Elisabetta di Valois (Mirella Freni) in the third act and when they say "Addio, per sempre addio" is the most dramatic part of this great opera.
Mirella Freni as the Princess Elisabetta di Valois has a wonderful voice, but perhaps Katia Ricciarelli had done a better role in this case. However the dramatisme of Freni is difficult to overcome.
Nikolai Ghiaurov as the King Filippo II di Spagna is superb. His arias "Restati" and "Ella giammai mi amó" are superb, worthy of a King`s character.
Ferruccio Furlanetto as the Gran Inquisitore develops a great character like a blind monk. Giuseppe Verdi wanted that this character were blind: perhaps to represent the blind position of the Catholic Church against the freedom in that time? It`s possible.
I recommend to acquire this production, but to buy the french version, too with Domingo, Ricciarelli, Nucci, Ghiaurov and others, being the conductor Claudio Abbado, wich has the anothers parts composed in 1886.
A great production, powerful to your eyes and ears!