The opera La Forza Del Destino is not my favourite Verdi opera, but I do have a fondness for it. The music is just wonderful, with Verdi's best overture, and such operatic classics such as Morrir Tremenda Cosa...Urna Fatale, Solenne in Quest'Ora, Invanno Alvaro and Pace, Pace Mio Dio.
This production is great. The orchestra playing is superb, and the conducting is efficient as it should be. The costumes and sets are nothing too fancy, but they're hardly drab either, in fact they set the tone of each scene very well. And the production is never too dimly lit either, and never slip shod in the videography or picture quality.
The performances are really very good. Anna Tomowa-Sintow is a somewhat matronly yet sincere and very musical Leonora. Her Pace, Pace Mio Dio doesn't quite make us forget Leontyne Price, however like Price every word, every gesture, every note is deeply felt. Veriano Luchetti is excellent as Alvaro, I have found him rather stolid before but here he is appropriately nuanced and his powerful voice which is also dark in timbre is put to perfect use.
Ingvar Wixell mayn't have the ideal Verdian baritone voice, but he does sing compellingly in Morrir Tremenda Cosa...Urna Fatale and his duets with Luchetti and he is an extraordinary actor. I have not seen or heard a Padre Guardino more sympathetic than Paul Plishka who I love for his hearty acting and sonorous voice. The more minor roles also make an impression, among them Gabriel Bacquier.
In conclusion, a great Forza. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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