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La forza del destino - the work


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While people are thinking about Forza, might I ask about something which has been puzzling me? Tony Pappano is quoted in an interview in the Friends magazine (an old issue, the interview was pegged to the Ring and is written by Neil Fisher) as saying of the lead role in Forza:


>>The soprano role is too hard


A member of my family debuted in this role at the Vienna Staatsoper before the war. She always told me that the reason she started her career with Forza was that this role is relatively short (Leonara appears at the beginning and the end) and not overly taxing. 


Is the part being sung differently now, or was she wrong about it, or is Pappano, or did the interviewer mishear? Any clues from singers or whoever most welcome. 



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I like to think of it as The Force of Improbable Coincidence, rather than The Force of Destiny.


To cut a long story short, it begins with Leonora di Vargas attempting to elope with her lover, Don Alvaro.  In the process, Don Alvaro accidentally discharges a shotgun, killing Leonora's father.  This leads to everyone fleeing in opposite directions, with Leonora's brother Don Carlo swearing to track down and kill Alvaro, while Leonora seeks refuge in a hermit's cave in the middle of absolutely nowhere.  After a number of developments over several years in which Carlo and Alvaro re-encounter one another in disguise, including an incident in which Alvaro saves Carlo's life, and then another in which Carlo saves Alvaro's, they realise each other's identities, and their ultimate confrontation happens to take place precisely outside the exact cave in which Leonora has been living all this time.

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To return to Sebastian's question, I don't know the answer.  I would have made the same assumptions about length of role.  Indeed, in that respect surely it's not as "difficult" as, say, Elisabetta in Don Carlo, which requires a similar weight and colour of voice, and like Leonora di Vargas has its major aria in the very last scene, but has a lot more involvement throughout the opera.


I'll see if I can get a soprano's opinion on this.  I do know somebody who debuted the role last year (edited to add: but who does not sing Elisabetta so I won't be able to test my comparative assumption...).

Edited by RuthE
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