VERDI’S 200th ANNIVERSARY: Washington National Opera Features “The Force of Destiny”



Verdi’s  “The Force of Destiny”   

Thrust together by fate, three lives become intertwined on a path to ruin. WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello brings her inventive staging to this new production of Verdi’s demanding masterpiece, featuring an exciting cast of international singers.

Giuseppe Verdi’s
The Force of Destiny
(La forza del destino)
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
New production
Thrust together by the hand of fate, three lives become irreversibly intertwined on a path to ruin. Leonora, the daughter of a disgraced marquis, is ready to leave her homeland behind to run away with Alvaro, a foreigner from a distant land. When her father is accidentally killed by Alvaro’s gun, the couple is tragically separated–and her brother Carlo vows revenge at any cost.
washington_FORCEDESTINY_400Distraught, Leonora commits to a life of solitude near a monastery. Meanwhile, Alvaro and Carlo both enlist in the army and become friends, unaware of the other’s true identity. An innocent promise ultimately leads Carlo to face down his comrade, and Leonora to emerge from hiding to save her long-lost love.
From its famed overture to the fourth act’s show-stopping “Pace, Pace mio dio,” Verdi’s notoriously demanding masterpiece–not seen by WNO audiences in nearly 25 years–bursts with thrilling arias and rousing ensemble passages. WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello brings her inventive staging to this new production that celebrates the bicentenary of Verdi’s birth. Combined with an exciting, young cast of international singers conducted by gifted Chinese American maestra Xian Zhang, this is one opera Washington and the world will be talking about for years to come.
Zambello is “known for her psychologically probing interpretations of the operatic repertoire.”
The New Yorker

Donna Leonora di Vargas: Adina Aaron (10/12, 16, 20, 24, 26), Amber Wagner (10/18 & 22)
Don Alvaro: Giancarlo Monsalve (10/12, 16, 20, 24, 26), Rafael Davila (10/18 & 22)
Don Carlo di Vargas: Àngel Òdena (10/12, 16, 20, 24), Luca Salsi (10/18, 22, 26)
Preziosilla: Ketevan Kemoklidze
Fra Melitone: Valeriano Lanchas
Padre Guardiano: Enrico Iori
Marchese di Calatrava: Peter Volpe

Set Designer: Peter Davison
Costume Designer: Catherine Zuber
Lighting Designer: Mark McCullough
Choreographer: Eric Sean Fogel

Performed in Italian with projected English titles. Titles may not be visible from the rear of the orchestra.


Musicologist Saul Lilienstein leads the Thursday, Oct. 24 Opera Insight, starting 1 hour and 15 minutes before the performance and lasting 35–40 minutes. All other Opera Insights start 1 hour before the performance and last 20–25 minutes.
Informative and entertaining, Opera Insights take you inside the composer’s mind, behind the scenes of planning a production, and into the history and social context of each opera.
These lectures are free, but patrons must present a ticket from any performance of The Force of Destiny.

Following these performances:
Sunday matinee, October 20
Tuesday evening, October 22
Join WNO artists for a unique opportunity to ask questions about the production.
All discussions begin immediately after the performance and are free with your ticket.

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