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La Forza del destino (I) – Acts I & II

With Violeta Urmana and Marcelo Álvarez. Philippe Jordan, Music director

Watch the second part of the opera: click here.

Thirty years after it was last performed at the Paris Opera, La Forza del destino is back staged by Jean-Claude Auvray.

Composed by Giuseppe Verdi on a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and after Angel Perez de Saavedra's play Don Alvaro o La fuerza del sino, La Forza del destino was commissioned by the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre of St. Petersburg, Russia. The opera was premiered there in 1862, three years after the great success of Un Ballo in maschera. While at the exact same time the Italian unit is being achieved, Verdi is once again wholly absorbed in his huge operatic project.



La Forza del destino

In 1740 burst the War of the Austrian Succession. After the Spanish and the French troups' defeat in Piacenza, the Austrians get the Kingdom of Italy. The kingdoms of Naples and of Sicily stay under Spanish control.

The action takes place in Sevilla, in the middle of the 18th century. Leonora di Vargas (Violeta Urmana) and Don Alvaro (Marcelo Álvarez) love each other the best way, but the codes of honnor force them to see each other secretly. When Donna Leonora's father, the Marchese di Calatrava, discovers the two lovers at night, he threatens to kill them to save his daughter's reputation. But Don Alvaro accidentally murders the Marchese. Don Alvaro and Donna Leonora fear for their lives, because Carlo, the brother of the young girl, could very well take revenge on his father's assassin. Donna Leonora shelters at the convent of Hornachuelos, and Alvaro gets into the Spanish army in Italy. There, he saves the life of a warrant officer, who is no other than Carlo. The two gentlemen do not recognize each other immediately, but later, when the truth bursts, the duel is narrowly averted. Back in Spain, Alvaro settles in Hornachuelos. Carlo finds him and provoques him: this leads to a fight between the two men, and Alvaro mortally wounds Carlo, who in an upsurge of tragic, stabs his own sister.

La Forza del destino is filmed by Olivier Simonnet. A coproduction Opéra national de Paris and Idéale Audience, with the participation of France Télévisions (to be broadcast on France 2).

La Fondation Orange patrons the audiovisual transmissions at the Paris Opera.France Télévisions, France 2, UGC, Idéale Audience and France Musique are partners of this broadcast..

This opera will be broadcast live on Thursday, November 8 in the UGC theatres, and later on France Musique on December 10, and on the radios which are members of the European Broadcasting Union.

© Picture: Andrea Messana/ONP

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Broadcast date : Dec. 8, 2011, 6 p.m.

Philippe Jordan musical direction
Jean-Claude Auvray stage director
Alain Chambon set designer
Maria-Chiara Donato costumes
Laurent Castaingt lighting
Terry John Bates choreography
Patrick Marie Aubert chorus master


Mario Luperi (Il Marchese di Calatrava)
Violeta Urmana (Donna Leonora)
Vladimir Stoyanov (Don Carlo di Vargas )
Marcelo Raúl Àlvarez (Don Alvaro)
Nadia Krasteva (Preziosilla)
Kwangchul Youn (Padre Guardiano)
Nicola Alaimo (Fra Melitone)
Nona Javakhidze (Curra)
Christophe Fel (Un Alcade)
Rodolphe Briand (Mastro Trabuco)
François Lis (Un Chirurgo)
Paris Opera Orchestra
Opéra national de Paris Choir


Nicolas Joel director of the opéra national de paris

Movie director : Olivier Simonnet
Playlist : Great Italian Operas

Location : Opéra Bastille (Paris, France)
Recording date : 08/12/2011
Production date : 2011



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