Opera Scotland

Force of Destiny 1995Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Forza del Destino

Scottish Opera’s 1994-5 season opened at the Edinburgh Festival with a new production of Fidelio. The Glasgow programme saw this joined by a new Maria Stuarda and a revival of Madama Butterfly. There was also a short group of performances of Tristan und Isolde, a carry-forward from the previous summer with some cast changes. At Christmas the entertainment was the final run of Iolanthe, with the New Year bringing an interesting new modern dress Marriage of Figaro. The last group of operas, in the spring, consisted of an unknown recent Russian work, Schnittke's Life With an Idiot, in a co-production with ENO, and a revival of La forza del destino along with further performances of Madama Butterfly.

The only revival of Elijah Moshinsky's stimulating production from 1990 had a disappointing sense of routine about it. Instead of sticking with the St Petersburg original score that Mauceri had unearthed, Armstrong used the conventional revised version, complete with surprising illogicalities of plot. The dramatic presentation also seemed to lack the fire the original had enjoyed.

Most of the singing and acting was fine, even if Vladimir Redkin and Clare Shearer lacked the temperament displayed in spades by Vladimir Chernov and Della Jones. Lisa Gasteen, as with the earlier Trovatore Leonora, showed herself, at this stage of her career, to be an expert Verdian. She would shortly start to undertake heavier work, however, including Brünnhilde, Isolde and Elektra. Riccardo Ferrari and Jonathan Veira were also fine as the well-differentiated clerics. The main disappointment was in the performance of the tenor Deng. He again showed a powerful and accurate voice, but with little of the subtlety of phrasing Alvaro requires. Nor was there any projection of the obsessive nature of the character.

Performance Cast

Marchese di Calatrava a Marquis, father of Leonora and Carlo

Geoffrey Moses

Donna Leonora di Vargas

Lisa Gasteen (Apr 28; May 6, 13, 18, 24)

Penelope Walmsley-Clark (Jun 6, 10, 13)

Curra Leonora's maid

Ann Hetherington

Don Alvaro a Peruvian nobleman

Mr Deng

Alcalde Mayor

Paul Anwyl

Preziosilla a gypsy

Clare Shearer

Don Carlo di Vargas

Vladimir Redkin

Trabuco a muleteer

Richard Coxon

Melitone a Franciscan friar

Jonathan Veira

Padre Guardiano Franciscan Father Superior

Riccardo Ferrari

Surgeon

Jonathan Hawkins

Performance DatesForce of Destiny 1995

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

28 Apr, 18.30 6 May, 18.30 13 May, 13.15 18 May, 18.30 24 May, 18.30

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

8 Jun, 18.30 10 Jun, 18.30

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

13 Jun, 18.30

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