La forza del destino : Work information
- Giuseppe (Fortunino Francesco) Verdi ( Music, Images,)
- Performed by
- Anna Tomowa-Sintow (Soprano), Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, Rouslan Raïchev (Conductor)
- Work name
- La forza del destino
- Work number
- 1862-01-01 02:00:00
- Forlane CI
- Ivan Pastor
- Recording date
- 1995-01-01 00:00:00
Giuseppe (Fortunino Francesco) Verdi
Verdi was born into a humble family of small landowners and taverners. At the age of seven he was helping the local church organist, with whom he later studied in nearby Busseto. He became the organist’s assistant in 1829. He already had several compositions under his belt when, in 1832, he was sent to Milan. Unfortunately, Verdi was refused a place at the Conservatory and instead studied with Vincenzo Lavigna, a composer and former La Scala musician. In 1835 Verdi returned to Busseto where he was passed over as maestro di cappella but became town music master in 1836. There he married Margherita Barezzi, his patron’s daughter.
Verdi had trouble getting his works performed or published, but he decided to settle in Milan in 1839 where the opera Oberto was finally performed at La Scala and further operas commissioned. It went well, but his next opera, Un Giorno di Regno, failed totally, and his wife died during its composition. Their two children had died as babies, and the combined effect brought Verdi’s composition to a halt. However, he read the libretto for Nabucco and decided to write an opera on it. It was performed in 1842 and over the next five years his fame spread across Europe and America.
Following more successes, the period Verdi later called his “years in the galleys” now began. His success meant a lot of work, with a long and demanding series of commissioned operas to compose and usually direct. Between 1844 and 1850 Verdi wrote 11 operas which were performed in Paris, London, Rome, Milan, Naples, Venice, Florence and Trieste, with a break in 1846 when he became ill. Between 1851 and 1853, Verdi produced his most popular operas, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, and La Traviata, the most personal and intimate of Verdi’s operas. The first two were well received, but La Traviata was a failure in Venice.
Verdi had been living with the soprano Giuseppina Strepponi for several years, and they moved to Paris, where another opera, Les Vêpres Siciliennes was performed. Verdi and Giuseppina married in 1859.
Back in Italy, Verdi was involved in politics (The movement for Italian unity) as representative of Busseto (where he now lived). He was later elected to the National Parliament, and ultimately he became a Senator. In 1862 La Forza del Destino had its premiere at St. Petersburg. A revised Macbeth was performed in Paris in 1865, and after Don Carlos in Paris in 1867, Verdi returned to Italy, to live at Genoa.
In his last years, Verdi composed less and less opera, preferring to write works such as his 1873 string quartet and the Requiem , though he did write Aida, performed in 1871, and Otello , completed in 1886. He spent his last years in Milan, rich and happy. When he died in 1901, 28,000 people lined the streets for his funeral. Altogether he composed 32 operas, many of which hold high positions in the world of opera today. Verdi founded the Rest Home for Musicians in Milan which he opened a few weeks before his death.
MIDI FILE - From "Nabucco": Overture (7'37'')
The composition of Verdi's La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny) was the result of a generous offer made by the Imperial Theatre of St. Petersburg in 1861. That Verdi's wife, Giuseppina, was also keen to visit Russia, must have added to the atraction of 60,000 francs plus expenses! Delayed by illness in the cast, the opera was finally staged in November 1862. A revised version was presented at La Scala Milan in 1869, this time with the famous overture.
Again, Verdi attempted a work in the grand opera style and, to some extent, succeeded in creating a large, lavish and inventive piece of theatre. The St. Petersburg audience were pleasantly surprised and the opera was critically well received.
The plot, taken from Don Alvaro or The Force of Destiny by the Duke of Rivas, relies rather too much on destiny to gloss over a number of far-fetched co-incidences. Nevertheless Verdi provided some glorious music, including Carlo's Act III aria Urna fatale and the overture, with its three hammer blows of fate.