Fontainebleau act. Just like all books must start with the beginning of the history and never as the action really starts. I don't think so.
Fontainebleau is naturally the beginning of how Elisabeth de Valois and Don Carlos, Infante of Spain meets (in the opera). It also gives the tenor more to sing and an additional duet with the soprano. But cut it out and now you have a pure opera that are much tighter bound dramatically. It starts in San Yuste monastery and ends there. All the cuts from the first 5 act opera in French and the work Giuseppe Verdi did made it much better and with a greater emotional impact. There is no need for a ballet, something that Paris Opera demanded. I don't think the Lacrymosa from Filip 2 was really needed. Giuseppe Verdi was a genious and he created the 4 act opera in Italian that is just perfect. In Italian the Spain sound more Spanish than in French. France and Spain was most of the time enemies, Italy and Spain was almost comrades. Of course, Italy did not exist as a country yet.
IL TROVATORE is another opera often called names. But it is perfect. If you read EL TROVADOR by Garcia Gutierrez and compare it to the opera. It is clear that the play has been tightened up just as it is mostly like Garcia Gutierrez wrote it. All talk about the inconsistency, the blame is with the playwright not the composer or librettist. Some say it had follow the story. Come on... it is not harder than most operas. Would they complain the layout if it was in a novel. Yes, they complain about Lord of the Rings. "How can I follow the story?". It is not played out in a linear way. Smart people get it. And it OPERA, it is the emotional impact that is important. Plays and books can be purely intellectual but opera need emotions. IL TROVATORE has emotions in spades.
For reviews from my travels, see www.operaduetstravel.com