La forza del destino

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July 2020



Act 1

The mansion of Leonora's family, in Seville

Don Alvaro is a young nobleman from South America (presumably Peru) who is part Indian and who has settled in Seville where he is not very well thought of. He falls in love with Donna Leonora, the daughter of the Marquis of Calatrava, but Calatrava is determined that she shall marry only a man of the highest origin. Despite knowing her father’s aversion to Alvaro, Leonora is deeply in love with him, and she determines to give up her home and country in order to elope with him. In this endeavor, she is aided by her confidante, Curra. (Me pellegrina ed orfana – "Exiled and orphaned far from my childhood home").

However, the Marquis unexpectedly enters and discovers Leonora and Alvaro together. He threatens Alvaro with death, and, in order to remove any suspicion as to Leonora’s purity, Alvaro surrenders himself. As he flings down his pistol, it goes off, mortally wounding the Marquis who dies cursing his daughter.


Act 2

Scene 1: An inn in the village of Hornachuelos

The Alcalde, several peasant muleteers, and Don Carlo of Vargas, the brother of Donna Leonora, are gathered in the kitchen of an inn. Don Carlo, disguised as a student of Salamanca, under the fictitious name of Pereda, is seeking revenge against Alvaro and Leonora (Son Pereda son ricco d'onore – "I am Pereda, of honorable descent"). During the supper, Preziosilla, a young gypsy, tells the young men’s fortunes and exhorts them to enlist in the war (Al suon del tamburo – "When side drums rattle") for Italy’s freedom, which all agree to do. Having become separated from Alvaro, Leonora arrives in male attire, but slips away without being discovered by Carlo.

Scene 2: A monastery nearby

Leonora takes refuge in the monastery (Sono giunta! ... Madre, pietosa Vergine – "I've got here! Oh, thank God!") where she tells the abbot, Padre Guardiano, her true name and that she intends to spend the remainder of her life in a hermitage. The abbot recounts the trials she will have to undergo. Leonora, Padre Guardiano, Fra Melitone, and the other monks join in prayer.


Act 3

Scene 1: A forest near Velletri, in Italy

Meanwhile Don Alvaro has joined the Spanish army under the name of Don Federico Herreros (La vita è inferno all'infelice ... O tu che in seno agli angeli – "Life is a hell to those who are unhappy....Oh, my beloved, risen among the angels"). One night he saves the life of Don Carlo who is serving in the same army under the name of Don Felix Bornos. They become close friends and go side by side into the Battle of Velletri, an historical event which occurred in 1744.

Scene 2: The officers' quarters

In one of these engagements Don Alvaro returns, believing himself to be mortally wounded. He entrusts to Don Carlo’s care a valise containing a bundle of letters which he orders his friend to destroy as soon as Don Alvaro dies: (Solenne in quest'ora – "Swear to me, in this solemn hour"). Don Carlo has sworn not to look at the contents of the letters; but he becomes suspicious of his friend. (Morir! Tremenda cosa! ... Urna fatale del mio destino – "To die! What an awesome thought...Get away, fatal lot sent to my Destiny!"). He opens the valise, finds his sister’s picture, and realizes Alvaro's true identity. At that moment a surgeon brings word that Don Alvaro may recover. Don Carlo is overjoyed at the idea of avenging his father’s death.

Scene 3: A camp near the battleground

Having recovered, Alvaro is confronted by Carlo. They begin to duel, but are pulled away from each other by the soldiers. As they restrain Carlo, the anguished Don Alvaro vows to enter a monastery.

The soldiers gather. Trabucco, the peddler, tries to sell them his wares; Fra Melitone chastises them for their godless ways; and Preziosilla leads them in a chorus in praise of the military life (Rataplan, rataplan, della gloria – "Rum-tum-tum on the drum is the music that makes a soldier's martial spirit rise").


Act 4

Scene 1: The monastery

Under the name of Father Raphael, Don Alvaro has entered the monastery at Hornachuelos, near which is Leonora’s cave. Don Carlo arrives and forces him to fight (Le minacce, i fieri accenti – "May the winds carry off with them").

Scene 2: A desolate spot near Leonora's hermitage

Leonora prays that she may find peace in death (Pace, pace mio Dio! – "Peace, O mighty Father, give me peace!"). Alvaro runs in, calling for help, having mortally wounded Carlo in their duel. The two lovers recognize each other. Leonora seeks her brother and, as she bends over him, he stabs her in the heart. Leonora returns with Padre Guardiano; he and Alvaro pray to heaven as she dies.

Program and cast


Musical direction, Christoph Campestrini

Staging, Julian Pölsler

Stage, Hans Kudlich

Costumes, Andrea Hölzl

Choreography, Monica I. Rusu-Radman

Choir direction, Michael Schneider

Mask, Csilla Domján

Light, Lukas Siman

Christopher Campestrini

Born in Linz. Musical education in New York at the Juilliard School and Yale University. Worldwide concert activity with over 120 orchestras: DSO Berlin, LSO London, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra Moscow, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, RSO Vienna. Over 100 performances as first Kapellmeister at the Aalto Musiktheater Essen. Engagements: Teatro Regio Turin, Teatro Lirico Cagliari, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Minnesota Opera, Opéra de Montréal, Sakai City Opera Osaka in Japan and many more. Since 2013 Music Director of the International Late Summer Festival Dubrovnik. 2016 Appointment as Kapellmeister of the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle, working with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Boys' Choir and the Vienna State Opera Chorus; productions at the operklosterneuburg: Don Pasquale (2012), Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (2013), Rigoletto (2015), Cavalleria Rusticana | Bajazzo (2016), Le Comte Ory (2017), La Traviata (2018).

Imperial court of the monastery Klosterneuburg

In the stylish open-air ambience of the baroque imperial court of Klosterneuburg Abbey visit annually to the
11.000 spectators the small but very fine opera festival. Over the years, the annual productions have developed into a fixed point in Austria's summer cultural landscape. The fabulous acoustics of the court do not require any amplification technology. The Imperial Court has room for 846 opera lovers and is home to the third largest open-air opera festival in Austria!

In case of bad weather in the neighbouring Babenbergerhalle on Rathausplatz

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