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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

Munich Opera Festival
Sunday, 23. July 2017
04:00 pm – 07:45 pm
Nationaltheater

Duration est. 3 hours 45 minutes · 1 Interval between 1. + 2. Akt and 3. Akt (est. 05:30 pm - 06:05 pm )

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Cast

Musikalische Leitung
Asher Fisch
Inszenierung
Martin Kušej
Bühne
Martin Zehetgruber
Kostüme
Heidi Hackl
Licht
Reinhard Traub
Produktionsdramaturgie
Olaf A. Schmitt
Produktionsdramaturgie
Benedikt Stampfli
Chöre
Sören Eckhoff

Il Marchese di Calatrava
Vitalij Kowaljow
Donna Leonora
Anja Harteros
Don Carlo di Vargas
Simone Piazzola
Don Alvaro
Jonas Kaufmann
Preziosilla
Nadia Krasteva
Padre Guardiano
Vitalij Kowaljow
Fra Melitone
Ambrogio Maestri
Curra
Heike Grötzinger
Un alcade
Christian Rieger
Mastro Trabuco
Matthew Grills
Un chirurgo
Igor Tsarkov
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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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Biographies

Asher Fisch, geboren in Jerusalem, begann seine Karriere als Assistent von Daniel Barenboim. Anschließend wurde er musikalischer Leiter an der Wiener Volksoper und an der New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv. Von 2007 bis 2014 war er Principal Guest Conductor an der Seattle Opera, seit 2014 hat er die musikalische Leitung des West Australian Symphony Orchestra inne. Gastverträge führten ihn u. a. an die Opernhäuser von New York, London, Mailand, Neapel, Turin, Berlin, Dresden, München, Paris, Chicago und Los Angeles. Neben seinen Opernengagements trat er mit Orchestern wie dem New York Philharmonic, der Staatskapelle Dresden, dem Gewandhausorchester Leipzig und den Berliner sowie den Münchner Philharmonikern auf. (Stand: 2017)

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