Among the many unfounded legends on melodrama, there's the one saying that theOpera la Forza del destino, written by the gret Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi brings bad luck. This is because of an unfortunate series of events which took place while it was on stage. The most popular one is linked to the baritone Leonard Warren who died in 1960 on the stage of the Metropolitan of New York, right after interpreting the aria «Urna fatale», from this opera. Whoever wants to believe in these stories, better stay away from the opera, which has often been referred to as The power of fate, to avoid calling it with the real title. But those who don't pay attention to these trifles, should let themselves go while listening to one of the most amazing musical sheet of Giuseppe Verdi's production. A remarkable title among melodramas of the Nineteenth Century.
Synopsis La forza del destino
Seville, mid-eighteenth century. Leonora di Vargas, daughter of the Marquis of Calatrava, tells her maid Curra about her decision to run away with Don Alvaro, her lover. She agrees to leave, but her father, awakened by noise, enters the room with sword drawn, challenging Alvaro, who, frightened, throws his pistol to the floor making it go off by accident and killing the Marquis, who dies cursing his daughter. The couple then run away.
Me pellegrina ed orfana, Leonora's Romance
Don Carlo di Vargas, Leonora's brother, pretending to be a student from Salamanca, is looking for his sister and her lover to take revenge for the father's death. Leonora, dressed as a man not to be recognized, has been separated from Alvaro and she is travelling with a muleteer, Trabuco, who protects her identity. Preziosilla, a Gypsy girl who can tell fortunes, approaches them and tells Carlo he isn't a student; Leonora, who has recognized her brother, is afraid of being discovered. She sounds the monastery bell and is greeted by Brother Melitone. She tells him she has been sent by Father Cleto to see the Father Superior. When he arrives, she tells him her identity, about whom Father Cleto has written. She asks to become a hermit, to devote herself only to God. When he learns her brother is bent on killing her, the Father Superior agrees.
Al suon del tamburro, Preziosilla, Don Carlo, Chorus' Aria
Son Pereda, son ricco d'onore, Don Carlo and Chorus' Ballad
Sono giunta!... grazie, o Dio!, Leonora's Aria
Alvaro is in the military, and believes Leonora to be dead. He rescues an officer in trouble. This is Carlo but neither men is aware of the other's identity for both are using fake names. Carlo thanks Alvaro for saving his life and Alvaro asks Carlo to burn his private papers when he dies. Carlo agrees, but when Alvaro is taken for surgery, he thinks he might be the man who killed his father. He finds a portrait of Leonora among Alvaro's belongings and just when he acknowledges Alvaro's life has been saved, Carlo is happy to know he can still take revenge. When they meet again, Carlo tells Alvaro he has found out who he is and wants revenge. Alvaro tries to calm him down saying that Leonora, if still alive as Carlo says, should be the object of their joint search. They fight but a patrol separates them. Alvaro decides to enter a monastery.
La vita è inferno all'infelice..., Don Alvaro's Aria
Morir!... tremenda cosa!..., Don Carlo's Aria
Urna fatale del mio destino, Don Carlo's Aria
Five years later. Inside the monastery beggars wait for Brother Melitone to give out soup. The gate bell rings: it's Carlo, who demands to see "Father Rafaello," the name he believes Alvaro is using now. Alvaro arrives and asks for peace, but again Carlo provokes him, and they rush off to find a duelling place. Leonora emerges from the cave she has been living in, to pray for peace: in fact, she is still in love with Alvaro. Hearing a tumult nearby, she retreats into the cave, only to be reached by Alvaro himself. He has mortally wounded Carlo and he has gone to her whom he knew to be a hermit to ask absolution to the dying man. They recognize each other, and Alvaro cries that once again he has the blood of her family on his hands. Leonora goes to Carlo, who with his last strength deals her a mortal blow. The father Superior enters and silences Alvaro's anger as Leonora whispers that she will await him in heaven.