La forza del destino is one of Verdi's most ambitious scores. Its overture - which introduces us to the sinister motif signifying Fate - is one of his most memorable. The opera also contains some of Verdi’s most brilliant choral writing, including Act III’s stirring ‘Rataplan’ chorus, and several beautiful and intimate arias such as Leonora's ardent Act IV 'Pace, pace mio Dio!'. There's comedy too with the scenes for the greedy monk Fra Melitone. Christof Loy's colourful and spectacular production reflects the kaleidoscopic nature of Verdi's opera, where intense personal dramas play out against a background of war, and in which religion plays an ambiguous role.
Verdi and his librettist and friend Francesco Maria Piave based La forza del destino on Ángel de Saavedra's highly dramatic play Don Alvaro, o la fuerzo del sino, and also incorporated material from Schiller's Wallenstein's Camp for Act III's military scenes. Following Forza's 1862 St Petersburg premiere, Verdi made extensive revisions to the score. The most substantial of these were a new overture, and a less melodramatic ending, in which Don Alvaro remained alive rather than committing suicide. The revised Forza, the version best known today, had its premiere on 27 February 1869 at La Scala, Milan.
Christof Loy’s star-studded production of Verdi’s ambitious opera
This world-class cast is transfixing
Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann are in magnificent voice
Netrebko and Kaufmann do so much that is right vocally, but they simply don't convey characters in extremis
La Forza is a tortured, earthy, exquisite ride of Godfather proportions, well worth a ticket for the assembly of fabulous vocal talent
Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann are on top form