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The Sunday Opera: Verdi's "La Forza del Destino" from London's Royal Opera House

Whether you call it “The Force of Destiny” or “The Power of Fate,” Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” from London’s Royal Opera House is this week’s Sunday Opera (7/14 3:00 p.m.).  After its premier in St. Petersburg in 1862, the opera was revised for a performance in Rome in 1863 under the title of “Don Alvaro.”  From there, it was further revised for performances in New York and Vienna in 1865, Buenos Aires in 1866, and London in 1867 with further extensive revisions to both the music and libretto for a La Scala performance in 1869, and that final revision has become the standard version.  

It is about the cruelty of fate as an accident changes the lives of four people in a tragic way.  Leonora is in love with Alvaro against the wishes of her father, the Marquis.  As they try to elope, they are caught, and Alvaro drops his gun as he surrenders to Leonora’s father, but the gun accidentally fires, killing the Marquis, and Carlo, Leonora’s brother, begins his quest of revenge after Leonora and Alvaro flee.  In this production from Covent Garden, Anna Netrebko is Leonora, Jonas Kaufmann is Alvaro, Ludovic Tezier is Carlo, and Robert Lloyd the Marquis.  Curra, Leonra’s maid, is Roberta Alexander and the gypsy fortuneteller, Preziosilla, is Veronica Simeoni.  Antonio Pappano conducts.  Following the opera, join Michael Kownacky for more music of Giuseppe Verdi with ballets from “I Vespri Siciliani” and “Macbeth,” and the well-known introduction to Act 3 of “La Traviata.”

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.