“La Forza Del Destino” (The Power of Fate) Opera by Giuseppe Verdi took place on stage on May 3 (Premier) and 5, 12, 14, 2018 at the Izmir Alhambra opera house. Opera will be at festivals during the summer season, next season we will see it again at Alhambra.
The four-act “La Forza Del Destino” (The Power of Fate) opera was composed by Giuseppe Verdi. It was ordered by the Russian Saint Petersburg palace orchestra. The opera’s premier was performed in 1862 at the Bolshoi Kamenny theater in Saint Petersburg, then in 1877 for the first time in Istanbul and in 1964 in the Ankara State Opera House.
The opera begins in Spain and continues in Italy and ends again in Spain. Leonore, daughter of Calatrava Marquis is in love with Don Alvaro. Alvaro’s mother comes from the Inca heritage from the indigenous peoples of South America. Her father is not willing to marry her daughter with Alvaro who is not a pure Spanish person. Leonore is determined to do everything she can to marry Alvaro. While trying to escape, Alvaro accidentally kills Leonora’s father. Lovers leave while unaware of each other’s lives. Leonora’s brother, Don Carlo, calls and seeks illegal lovers to get revenge. In the end, the heroes all die, unhappy end comes.
The work was first written in Spanish as a theater work, and then it was transformed into opera by Verdi with a solid dramatic editing. The music is amazingly beautiful. The melodies in the music that we listen to at the beginning are repeated throughout the opera.
The Orchestra Conductor is Tulio Gagliardo, Stage Director Evin Atik. Orchestra plays smooth, choir is strong, İzmir orchestra permanent conductor performs wonderfully. The work is put on the classic interpretation scene in İzmir. The decor is reasonable, the costumes are beautiful. However we could not get the meaning of the gun sounds coming from the microphone before the overture in the first act.
The first act starts in Leonora’s bedroom.
The second scene is in Spain. Here, the fortune-teller Gypsy girl mezzo soprano Preziosilla has a beautiful song praising the war.
The second act is again in the monastery in Spain.
The third act takes place in Italy at the war zone. The ruthless face of the war is emerging in the same horror front. Preziosilla comes out on the stage again and tries to cheer people up with her songs, while people are poor because of the war, relatives are lost. Meanwhile, the monk, who was there to heal them, says that all the evils that have come to them are due to the sins they committed.
The Fourth Act goes back to the monastery in Spain. People who are trying to take refuge in the church because of hunger. We see absence of mercy and greed of monks and other people who are rude.
Then we see the encounter of Don Carlo and Don Alvaro. Opera ends with the final scene in front of the cave where Leonora was sheltered.
Let’s put together some of the main Arias that stand out in the opera and can be found easily on YouTube:
Leonora: 1st Act: Me pellegrina ed orfana,
2nd Act: Sono giunta! …. Madre pietosa vergine
4th Act: Pace, pace mio (Soprano Leyla Gencer is recommended!)
Preziosilla: 2nd Act: Al suon del Tambura
Don Alvaro: 3rd Act: La vita é inferno ….. o tu che in seno agli angeli
Don Carlo: 2nd Act: Son pereda latest ricco d’onore
3rd Act: Morir Tremenda cosa …. Urna fatale del mio Destino
Main roles are alternately performed by, Burçin Savigne, Ayşe Tek, Feryal Türkoğlu, Lorenzo Mok Arranz, Oğuz Çimen, Levent Gündüz, Aydin Uştuk, Nejad Begde, Gökhan Koç, Tamer Peker, Cengiz Sayin, Doğukan Özkan, Tevfik Rhodes, Engin Suna and Murat Duyan , Gökhan Varkan, Ebru Captain, Ayşe Özkan, Ferda Yetiser, Sabri Çapanoğlu, Tankut Eşber, Kaner Sumer, Başak Karataş, Evrim Keskin Özülgen, Christopher Gagliardo, Soner Yıldırım, Barış Yener.
The premier night, on May 3, was performed by the artists settled in Izmir. On May 5, we observed that the performers from outside Izmir were performing more impressively than the first night. Feryal Türkoğlu, Cengiz Sayın and Engin Suna have a big share when we get this impression. Tenor Aydin Uştuk was spectacular on both nights. The other roles, Preziosilla and Melitone, were performed beautifully on both days.
Giuseppe Verdi wrote this opera work with the order of Tsarist Russia. It was a period in which intolerance in Europe is most brutally practiced when the work was written. Giuseppe Verdi has given support to national- revolutionary works throughout his life. His works have rich melody, solid theatrical fiction, big and glorious orchestra, and powerful chorus music.
A few details from performance. We were waiting for an article telling us how woman director put opera on stage in the program book.
There were two more available tickets on May 5, while there was no buyer, we left it open in ticket box.
İzmir audience do not get tickets at the opera gate. There’s always a lot of available
Tickets at the gate before performance. There is always a last minute ticket purchase in Istanbul and Ankara.
During 2018-2019 season, this opera is in England’s “Royal Opera House” program. The main roles are shared by Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann. The opera will be in Munich, Augsburg, Dresden, Paris and Zürich. The staging of the Munich opera has contemporary interpretation with horrors of war introduced.