Michael Fabiano (Don Carlo) and Mariusz Kwiecień (Rodrigo)
In my review of the San Francisco Opera Don Carlo, I wrote that the most intense and intimate relationship in the opera is between Carlo and Rodrigo. I think it's baked into the score, given that Elisabetta and Carlo do not truly get to express their love for each other, and given that the cause of Flanders is noble and just, not clouded by adultery or incest-by-marriage. (Okay, there is heresy!) Rodrigo has the purest motives and purest heart in the opera.
And, for whatever reasons, that's how it's being played in SF. It could be done many other ways; in this production, the two characters hug and sing arm in arm a lot, and of course Rodrigo dies in Carlo's arms. And of course practically anyone could fall in love with the fabulous Mariusz Kwiecien.
But I am extremely curious how this relationship read in the 19th century and earlier in the 20th c., before it became very easy, perhaps too easy, to see the potential homoeroticism in the relationship. Research pointers, anyone? I'd love to read a paper or two, or a chapter in a longer volume, on the subject.
And yes, I should see how it plays in the Schiller as well.