Verdi and his librettist Francesco Maria Piave based La forza del destino on Ángel de Saavedra's highly dramatic play Don Álvaro, o la fuerzo del sino, and also incorporated material from Schiller's Wallensteins Camp for the military scenes in Act III. Verdi made extensive revisions to the score following Forza's 1862 St Petersburg premiere. The revised Forza had its premiere on 27 February 1869 at La Scala, Milan. It is this version – which includes a redemptive ending – that The Royal Opera performs.
La forza del destino is one of Verdi's most ambitious scores. Its overture is one of his most memorable and the opera also contains some of Verdi’s most brilliant choral writing, along with beautiful arias such as Leonora’s ‘Pace, pace mio Dio!’. 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 Verdi analyses the best and worst aspects of religion.
Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera, conducts two impressive casts. German tenor Jonas Kaufmann and Azerbaijani tenor Yusif Eyvazov sing the role of Don Alvaro for the first time at Covent Garden. Russian soprano Anna Netrebko makes her role debut as Leonora and Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastryska sings Leonora for the first time at Covent Garden. French baritone Ludovic Tézier and British baritone Christopher Maltman share the role of Don Carlo di Vargas. Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto sings the benevolent Padre Guardiano, with Italian baritone Alessandro Corbelli as his venial assistant Fra Melitone. Italian mezzo-soprano Veronica Simeoni makes her Royal Opera debut as Preziosilla, sharing the role with Jette Parker Young Artist Russian mezzo-soprano Aigul Akhmetshina.
The Marquis of Calatrava forbids his daughter Leonora to marry the South American nobleman Don Alvaro. The lovers attempt to elope, but the Marquis catches them. In the ensuing altercation, Alvaro accidentally kills the Marquis, who curses his daughter as he dies. Leonora and Alvaro become separated during their escape. Leonora's brother Don Carlo di Vargas decides to find them and avenge his father.
Don Carlo joins the Spanish army under a false name, little knowing that Don Alvaro has done the same thing. The men become close friends while fighting in Italy. But friendship turns to enmity when Don Carlo discovers Leonora's portrait among Alvaro's possessions, and realizes who his new 'friend' really is. His subsequent actions lead the men back to Spain, and, many years later, they meet at the remote monastery where a disguised Leonora lives as a recluse.
La forza del destino opens at the Royal Opera House on Thursday 21 March 2019
21 March at 6.30pm, 24 March at 2pm, 27, 29 March at 6.30pm, 2, 5, 9, 12, 17, 22 April at 6.30pm
La forza del destino will be shown in UK cinemas on 2 April 2019 with an encore screening on 7 April 2019. The production will be broadcast to cinemas around the world.
Production Principal Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet
Position of Maestro Antonio Pappano generously supported by
Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE
Generous philanthropic support from Lord and Lady Laidlaw, Alfiya and Timur Kuanyshev, Spindrift Al Swaidi, Ian and Helen Andrews, Mrs Carolyn Calcutt, Peter Harrison and Fiona Willis, Martin and Jane Houston, Rena and Sandro Lavery, The Taylor Family Foundation, Mrs Trevor Swete, La forza del destino Production Syndicate, the American Friends of Covent Garden, The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund and two anonymous donors.
Sung in Italian
Tickets available from the Royal Opera House website and Box Office
(+44 (0)20 7304 4000)
Director Christof Loy
Associate Director Georg Zlabinger
Designer Christian Schmidt
Lighting designer Olaf Winter
Choreographer Otto Pichler
Associate Choreographer Johannes Stepanek
Dramaturg Klaus Bertisch
Associate set designer Federico Pacher
Conductor Antonio Pappano
Leonora Anna Netrebko (21, 24 mat, 29 March, 2, 5 April)
Liudmyla Monastyrska (27 March, 9, 12, 17. 22 April)
Don Alvaro Jonas Kaufmann (21, 24 mat, 27 March, 1, 5, 9, 12 April)
Yusif Eyvazov (29 March, 17, 22 April)
Don Carlo di Vargas Ludovic Tézier (21, 24 mat, 27 March, 2, 5, 9, 12 April)
Christopher Maltman (29 March, 17, 22 April)
Padre Guardiano Ferruccio Furlanetto
Fra Melitone Alessandro Corbelli
Preziosilla Veronica Simeoni* (21, 24 mat, 27, 29 March, 2, 5, 9 April)
Aigul Akhmetshina** (12, 17, 22 April)
Marquis of Calatrava Robert Lloyd
Curra Roberta Alexander
Maestro Trabuco Carlo Bosi
Alcade Michael Mofidian**
Surgeon Jonathan Fisher
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
*Royal Opera debut
**Jette Parker Young Artist
Tuesday 5 March at 7.30pm
Join the creative team bringing Christof Loy’s new production of Verdi's epic opera to the stage in this behind-the-scenes insight event ahead of star-studded performances in Spring 2019.