Opera in four acts Second version adapted 1869

Composer Giuseppe Verdi · Libretto after Duque de Rivas’ drama Don Álvaro o La fuerza del sino by Francesco Maria Piave (1862), adapted by Antonio Ghislanzoni (1869)
In Italian with English and German surtitles

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Dates & Tickets

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Cast for all dates

Andrea Battistoni
Martin Kušej
Set Design
Martin Zehetgruber
Costume Design
Heidi Hackl
Reinhard Traub
Olaf A. Schmitt
Benedikt Stampfli
Stellario Fagone

Il Marchese di Calatrava
Mika Kares
Donna Leonora
Anja Harteros
Don Carlo di Vargas
George Petean
Don Alvaro
Jonas Kaufmann
Ekaterina Semenchuk
Padre Guardiano
Mika Kares
Fra Melitone
Ambrogio Maestri
Daria Proszek
Un alcade
Christian Rieger
Mastro Trabuco
Galeano Salas
Un chirurgo
Daniel Noyola
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La forza del destino – what is the meaning of the destiny that Verdi uses so forcefully for the title of this family tale of various outlaws in his opera of 1862, revised in 1869? Who forces Leonora, and Alvaro as the murderer of her father, to enter the hermitage of a monastery – and confronts them there, in a mighty showdown, with the brother who is full of hatred and cannot forgive? Is it a declaration of war against God's promise of redemption? The heavenly cantilena of a solo violin rises at the end of the opera – in the face of the death of the hero's lover and brother. Those who withdraw into the consoling twilight of a divine peace here are only trying to deny one thing: the force of destiny.

Act One

Leonora di Vargas is in love with Alvaro. Her father, the Marchese di Calatrava, refuses to accept the relationship on the grounds of Alvaro’s  background. Together with her confidante, Curra, Leonora is waiting for her beloved, with whom she plans to elope. The Marchese enters the room and discovers them. Alvaro is armed and throws down his pistol as a token of  his surrender. At that moment the pistol goes off and the shot fatally wounds the Marchese. As he dies, the father curses his daughter.  

Act Two

Assuming that Alvaro has deliberately killed his father, Leonora’s brother Carlo is seeking revenge. Disguised as a student he scours the land in search of the murderer of his father. Leonora has lost sight of Alvaro and believes him to be dead. Dressed in men’s clothing, she overhears her brother in an inn saying that Alvaro is on the way to America. Preziosilla stirs up enthusiasm for war and prophesies a dreadful end for the student, the appearance of whom she does not trust.

Leonora wishes to devote herself to God in a solitary environment. Seeking sanctuary in a monastery, she begs Fra Melitone to be allowed to speak to Padre Guardiano. At the suggestion of her father confessor she hopes he will allow her to live the life of a  hermit in a cell. She is prepared for a secluded life by the monks.

Act Three

Alvaro has joined the army under a new name. He saves an officer’s life during a violent altercation. This officer is none other than Carlo, who is also serving under an assumed name. The two men swear eternal friendship – without recognizing each other. When Alvaro is wounded he gets Carlo to promise to destroy his personal papers if he dies. This awakens Carlo’s suspicions and he opens the papers, finds a picture of his sister and recognizes in Alvaro the presumed murderer of his father. He decides to kill his „friend“.

In the soldiers‘ camp, Preziosilla extols the liberal way of life in wartime. Fra Melitone reproaches the celebrating soldiers for their godlessness and is driven out.

Carlo makes sure that Alvaro has recovered and challenges him to a duel. The fighting men are separated. Alvaro decides to enter a monastery.

Act Four

Fra Melitone is distributing meals to the needy. Alvaro now lives in a monastery under the name of Padre Raffael. Carlo nevertheless recognizes him as his father’s murderer. They fight a duel. In her loneliness Leonora calls on God and begs for salvation in death. Carlo is wounded in the duel. Alvaro seeks help – in Leonora’s cell of all places. The two of them recognize each other. Leonora wants to stand by Carlo as he dies but he kills her. Alvaro is left alone in his despair.

Premiere of Giuseppe Verdi's "La forza del destino" on December 22, 2013 in the Nationaltheater

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Andrea Battistoni, in Verona geboren, studierte Dirigieren u. a. bei Ennio Nicotra, Gabriele Ferro und Gianandrea Noseda. 2008 gab er sein Operndebüt mit dem Dirigat von La bohème am Theater Basel. Engagements führten ihn seither u. a. nach St. Petersburg, Valencia, Dresden, Berlin, Stockholm, Peking, Neapel, Venedig und Palermo. 2012 debütierte er am Teatro alla Scala in Mailand und war dort mit 24 Jahren der jüngste Dirigent in der Geschichte des Hauses. Das Teatro Carlo Felice in Genua ernannte ihn 2013 zum Ersten Gastdirigenten. 2015 wurde er zunächst der führende Gastdirigent des Philharmonieorchesters Tokio und 2016 dessen Chefdirigent. (Stand: 2017)

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