Don Carlos, the final opera in Verdi’s series based on the plays of Friedrich von Schiller, is one of the most significant “history” operas in the repertoire. As politically powerful today as it was at its premiere in Paris in 1867, this David McVicar production packed a punch, but did not deliver a knockout blow.

Too much David McVicar in the gloomy, grey-walled, all-embracing, amphitheatre set and not enough Verdi. Too often directors forget they are the servants of the libretto, as indeed are composers.

Give this production five stars for “atmosphere”! The atmosphere of the sepulchre.