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Giuseppe Verdi: La forza del destino
Saioa Hernández (Leonora), Roberto Aronica (Don Alvaro), Amartuvshin Enkhbat (Don Carlo di Vargas), Annalisa Stroppa (Preziosilla), Ferruccio Furlanetto (Padre Guardiano), Nicola Alaimo (Fra Melitone), Alessandro Spina (Il Marchese di Calatrava), Leonardo Cortellazzi (Mastro Trabuco), Valentina Corò (Curra), Fransco Samuele Venuti (Un Alcade), Roman Lyulkin (Un chirurgo), Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Lorenzo Fratini (Chorus Master), Ferruccio Finetti, Leonardo Melani, Luca Tamani (soloists), Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Zubin Mehta (Conductor), Carlus Padrissa (La Fura dels Baus, Director), Roland Olbeter (Set Designer), Chu Uroz (Costume Designer), Franc Aleu (Light and Video Designer), Tiziano Mancini (Video Director)
Recording (live): Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Florence, Italy (June 4th, 2021) – 190’
Dynamic 57930 (or Blu-ray Dynamic 37930) – PCM stereo 2.0 – DTS-HD – Region 0 (Distributed by Naxos of America) – Subtitles in Italian, English, French, German, Korean and Japanese – Booklet in English and Italian

This production of La forza del destino, directed by Carlus Padrissa (co-founder of La Fura dels Baus) was given in 2021 at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, in Florence. This is quite an unsettling, to say the least, vision of Verdi’s opera. The libretto notes help us, somehow, navigating through this disorderly magma of ideas. Allusions to theories by Robert Lewis, quotations from Einstein, and the likes, abound (so say the notes). Add to this cocktail a little bit of gravitational Virgo interferometer (it never hurts), black holes, and a pinch of Alessandro Manzoni’s Promessi sposi poetry. In the words of Padrissa himself: “Sometimes, destiny drives us to a black hole, where a force, no matter how much we try to resist it, draws us to a finite region of space, a gravitational field so strong that not even light can escape.” “Elementary, my dear Watson!” All this metaphysical soup translates on the stage into overwhelming projections, explosions of crude lights, laser beams, preposterous, delusional costumes, wigs, and make-up; while extras, strapped up in a harness, float in space, or escalate walls in a horizontal position. Need I say more? Maybe. In this presentation, planet Earth is a vessel traveling through a boundless space...

As creative and respectable as the Catalan company “La Fura dels Baus” may be in some theatrical genres, it is doubtful that the unbridled eccentricities shown here will speak in their favor. Nor in favor of opera. Known for attracting new audiences to theater, “La Fura” might very well achieve the opposite with this presentation of La forza del destino.This is a Romantic work, and we are light-years away from this movement, here. This is not creativity. This is an excruciating non-sense.

The singing, without being reprehensible, is adequate, at best, with the exception of excellent baritone Amartuvshin Enkhbat in Don Carlo, and the fiery Preziosilla of Annalisa Stroppa. We are also pleased to see that Ferrucio Furlanetto (Padre Guardiano) has not lost his bravura. Zubin Mehta conducts with rigor the Maggio Musicale orchestra, bringing all the colors of this score. Judging by his face, it is hard to say if he enjoyed being embarked in this project, let alone having to travel to billions of miles.

Welcome aboard! Fasten your seat belt and expect turbulences.

Christian Dalzon




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