In this Wednesday, April 8, 2015 photo, Eric Owens, right, and Morris Robinson perform during a rehearsal of the opera "Don Carlo," at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Five performances are scheduled to be staged from April 24 to May 3. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

When King Philip II of Spain faces off against the Grand Inquisitor in Verdi’s “Don Carlo” at the Academy of Music, they won’t just be portraying history, they’ll be making a bit of it, too. In what’s believed to be a first, a major opera company has cast two African-Americans in the roles.

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