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La forza del destino (1997)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Romance  -  30 December 1997 (UK)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 5 users  
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Donna Leonora on the verge of eloping with her lover Don Alvaro is party to the accidental shooting of her father. Fleeing from her brother Don Carlo who swears to kill her and avenge his ... See full summary »

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Title: La forza del destino (TV Movie 1997)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Galina Gorchakova ...
Leonora
Nikolai Putilin ...
Don Carlos
Gegam Grigorian ...
Don Alvaro
Marianna Tarasova ...
Preziosilla
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sergei Alexashkin ...
Padre Guardiano
Kirov Chorus ...
Chorus
Nikolai Gassiev ...
Mastro Trabucco
Valery Gergiev ...
Himself - Conductor
Grigory Karasev ...
Marchese di Calatrava
Kirov Orchestra ...
Themselves - Orchestra
Polina Laptev ...
Village Girl
Yuri Laptev ...
Chirurgo
Yevgeni Nikitin ...
Alcade
Lia Shevtsova ...
Curra
Georgy Zastavny ...
Fra Melitone
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Storyline

Donna Leonora on the verge of eloping with her lover Don Alvaro is party to the accidental shooting of her father. Fleeing from her brother Don Carlo who swears to kill her and avenge his father, Leonora takes refuge at the monastery of the "Madonna of the Angels", in hope of finding peace. The Father Superior takes her to an abandoned hermits cave where she vows to remain an unhappy, rejected woman cursed by heaven and earth, aspiring only to give herself to God. Cruel fate brings together lover Don Alvaro and brother Don Carlo in a a duel outside the cave. Carlo is wounded, Leonora runs to comfort her brother but is fatally stabbed in his dying vengeance. Don Alvaro, bereft and in the act of suicide at losing his beloved curses all humanity. This is the historic first recording of the original 1862 version as commissioned by the Imperial Theatre, St. Petersburg from Verdi. Written by Anonymous

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30 December 1997 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

I dynami tou pepromenou  »

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Edited into Great Arias: La Forza del Destino (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very interesting production of Verdi's sprawling masterpiece
4 June 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Somebody might find the last two words of my review summary somewhat oxymoronic. What I do mean is that while La Forza Del Destino is rather sprawling in its story, another big part of an opera's appeal is the music, and that aspect in the opera is magnificent. This Forza is interesting for the use of the 1862 version and the use of the original ending, but I don't consider it the best version. That is between the 1958 San Carlo performance with Tebaldi, Corelli, Bastianini and Christoff, the 1978 La Scala performance with Caballe, Carreras, Cappuccilli and Ghiaurov and the 1984 Met performance with Price, Giacomini, Nucci and Giaotti(though that production seems to have a fair number of people indifferent to it). The 1996 Sweet, Domingo and Chernov and 1981 Tomowa-Sintow, Luchetti, Wixell and Plishka productions are also worth watching.

This production is not perfect. While I am aware that there could be an improved version out there since, the synchronisation didn't always seem to be very consistent, with the image behind the sound by at least a beat. It does give the impression that you are watching one production and hearing something completely different, especially true in Alvaro and Carlo's final duelling scene. Also, while she does generally have a great voice especially towards the lower end, Galina Gorchakova lacks the legato and sometimes the musicianship needed for La Vergine Degli Angeli and Pace, Pace Mio Dio and sometimes her top sounds pinched.

Other than the synchronisation lapses, the production does look great, brooding and beautiful. The staging also works very well, especially in the crowded inn, monastery and brawling camp scenes, all presented in an ardent, patriotic and melancholic fashion. In regard to the musical values, the orchestral playing are both sensitive(for Leonora's arias) and powerful(for the overture and the cabaletta of Carlo's Morrir Tremenda Cosa...Urna Fatale). Valery Gergiev's conducting is always secure, passionate and enigmatic(like with his fingers). The chorus are also rousing if very Russian in sound.

The performances, Gorchakova aside, are fine. Gegam Grigorian as Alvaro was a real surprise. It is one of the more intensely-characterised performances in the role on DVD, Alvaro here is alcoholic and unkempt, which was an interesting approach, and his singing is dark and ringing. I much prefer the ending that I am more used to, but it worked with Alvaro's character here. Nikolai Putlin is a commanding Carlo with a rich voice, Padre Guardinio is suitably sympathetic, Melitone is characterful and the performance of Preziozilla is wonderful.

In conclusion, very interesting if not the best version. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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