Opera Scotland

Force of Destiny 1990Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Forza del Destino

Scottish Opera’s first staging of this fascinatingly enjoyable work was notable for several unusual features. Firstly, John Mauceri returned to Verdi’s original thoughts for St Petersburg, as a result of which some unfamiliar music was heard. There was no overture, and the order of events in the third act was different (and more plausible). Finally, the conclusion of the work was far more bleak, with no hint of redemption as Alvaro kills himself in a storm of thunder and lightning. The whole evening was a consistently enjoyable piece of music drama, with the performances of orchestra and chorus absolutely central.

Elijah Moshinsky's production was set around the time of composition, not quite American Civil War or Risorgimento, but a hispanic equivalent which was very effective. The cast included a notable British debut for Andrea Gruber, an extremely young American soprano with a lustrous voice, and a superbly baleful performance of Don Carlo from the Kirov baritone Vladimir Chernov. Sadly, neither singer ever returned to sing in Scotland afterwards.

A second excellent Russian made an effective Padre Guardiano. The small but vital role of Preziosilla seemed far more important in the hands of the wonderful Della Jones, who also had an expert technique with her drum. The company's recent Alberich made a very different, but equally impressive, Melitone. Alvaro was another debutant from the States. Stefano Algieri was a powerful dramatic presence, wonderful in the stirring, unfamiliar final scene. He would be a welcome returnee for a couple of later productions. Unfortunately he seems to have had a tendency to nerves on opening nights, so the critics rarely saw him at his best.

Performance Cast

Marchese di Calatrava a Marquis, father of Leonora and Carlo

David Marsh

Donna Leonora di Vargas

Andrea Gruber

Curra Leonora's maid

Margaret Izatt

Don Alvaro a Peruvian nobleman

Stefano Algieri

Alcalde Mayor

David Morrison

Preziosilla a gypsy

Della Jones

Don Carlo di Vargas

Vladimir Chernov

Trabuco a muleteer

Anthony Mee (Exc Mar 27)

Colin McKerracher (Mar 27)

Melitone a Franciscan friar

Nicholas Folwell

Padre Guardiano Franciscan Father Superior

Alexander Morozov

Surgeon

Jonathan Hawkins

Pedlar

Anthony Mee (Exc Mar 27)

Colin McKerracher (Mar 27)

Performance DatesForce of Destiny 1990

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

13 Feb, 18.45 17 Feb, 14.15 20 Feb, 18.45 22 Feb, 18.45 3 Mar, 18.45

Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

13 Mar, 18.45 17 Mar, 18.45

Theatre Royal, Newcastle | Newcastle-upon-Tyne

27 Mar, 18.45 31 Mar, 18.45

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