“The cast is a dream team” wrote the Financial Times after the premiere of this production of Verdi’s La forza del destino at the Wiener Staatsoper. Topping the list is Nina Stemme, who gives a full-blooded portrayal of Leonora. Passionate forceful readings are also provided by Salvatore Licitra as Alvaro and Carlos Álvarez as Don Carlo. Zubin Mehta leads Staatsoper Orchestra with agility, subtleness and relaxed mastery, and right from the start David Poutney establishes an atmosphere of entrapment by fate. With the aid of a bizarre, unforgettable stage construction, the acclaimed director finds an ideal setting to illustrate the merciless powers of chance and destiny.
Running Time Total: 161 minutes
DVD: DTS 5.1, PCM Stereo
“Pountney's unfussily direct handling of the tragic side of the drama plays to his cast's strengths. Compared to his colleagues here, the late Salvatore Licitra may not have been the stage's most natural actor but...a terrific passion carries all before it....And Nina Stemme's Leonora? A hugely well-acted assumption of the role, with (in the 'Pace! Pace, mio dio' scena) the uncanny presence and vocal fury offered by Price, Barstow or Freni.”
“Dramatically convincing, [Alvarez] broods darkly and his burnished baritone, although not ringing out as freely as one would wish, is powerful...Stemme is an involving Leonore, with a lovely rich lower and mid-register tone, but she is strained and variable above the stave...Krasteva throws herself into cowgirl Preziosilla with gusto, although her fruity mezzo noticeably lacks a trill...Mehta conducts effectively.”
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