Die Macht des Schicksals (concertante), Opera by G. Verdi
At Volksoper Wien, a plan was hatched in 1924: opera director Fritz Stiedry engaged the author Franz Werfel to create a German-language adaptation of the classic opera La forza del destino (The Power of Fate) by Giuseppe Verdi. The endeavour did not go as intended, but the idea lived on through the years. This season, the Volksoper presents an exciting concert version of Stiedry and Werfel’s original plan. Die Macht des Schicksals takes the Viennese stage in glorious concert form as it was intended to about a century ago.
Verdi’s original La forza del destino went through several iterations. Initially premiered in Russia in 1862 with a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, the work underwent a few musical and plot revisions (the latter courtesy of Antonio Ghislanzoni). Verdi staged the ultimate version of the opera at Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 27 February 1869. It has been performed around the world like that ever since. The plot derives from the drama ‘Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino’ by Ángel de Saavedra and tells the convoluted romantic drama of Don Alvaro, a Latin American mixed-blood nobleman, and Donna Leonora, the beautiful daughter of Marquis of Calatrava. The young couple are madly in love, but the father cannot accept a suitor of such lowly birth. In an altercation, Don Alvaro unintentionally shoots the Marquis dead, setting off a series of fateful events.
In the panic after Calatrava’s death, the lovers become separated. Donna Leonora joins a covenant, while Don Alvaro, under a fake name, enlists in the Spanish army. In another twist of fate, he becomes close to Don Felix Bornos, who is in fact Carlo, Leonora’s brother. Their fake identities are soon unmasked, and Don Carlo sets out to avenge his father’s death at any cost. Will fate finally turn a kind eye on the two lovers, or do more tragic twists await? Die Macht des Schicksals concertante has all the power and intensity of Verdi’s Italian original in this excellent Volksoper Wien production.