[Met Performance] CID:270020
La Forza del Destino {183} Metropolitan Opera House: 09/22/1982.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
September 22, 1982


LA FORZA DEL DESTINO {183}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Leonora.................Leona Mitchell
Don Alvaro..............Giuseppe Giacomini
Don Carlo...............Sherrill Milnes
Padre Guardiano.........Bonaldo Giaiotti
Preziosilla.............Isola Jones
Fra Melitone............Gabriel Bacquier
Marquis de Calatrava....Richard Vernon
Curra...................Jean Kraft
Mayor...................James Courtney
Trabuco.................Andrea Velis
Surgeon.................Russell Christopher

Conductor...............James Levine

Production..............John Dexter
Stage Director..........David Sell
Set designer............Eugene Berman
Costume designer........Peter J. Hall
Choreographer...........Donald Mahler

La Forza del Destino received sixteen performances this season.

Revival gift of The LeVine Foundation, Detroit, Michigan

Review of Robert Kimball in the Daily News

Leona Mitchell scores in Met's 'La Forza'

Leona Mitchell, in her debut as Leonora, sang her way into the top echelons of Verdi heroines and into the hearts of the Metropolitan Opera audience the other night in the season's first performances of "La Forza del Destino." Her radiant voice soared rhapsodically and there was a special tenderness in her doom-drenched portrayal.

There is much more to praise about this brilliantly-sung "Forza," the company's first since 1977, and a good deal of the credit belongs to conductor James Levine, the Met's musical director. "Forza" is filled with great music, but it is a loose, sprawling, episodic, lengthy pageant that requires the kind of firmness and red-hot intensity that Levine bought to it from the pit. His command of the score was so sure that he was able to focus most of his attention on the stage and his cues were masterful.

And what a cast he assembled! Tenor Giuseppe Giacomini, as the Inca Prince Alvaro, who loves Leonora, rung the rafters with his spine-tingling solos. Baritone Sherrill Milnes, Leonora's vengeance-seeking brother Carlo, sang with his customary mastery. The two men were well matched in their duets of comradeship and confrontation. Gabriel Bacquier's hilarious, vibrant Melitone was very special, and Bonaldo Giaiotti's grave Padre Guardiano rose to heights in the closing pages of the tragedy. Isola Jones, saucy and alluring as the gypsy Preziosilla, had all kinds of vocal problems. The John Dexter/Eugene Berman production is a gloomy, yet serviceable, evocation of the inns, courtyards, cloisters and battlefields of 18th Century Spain and Italy.

"Forza" will be performed at the Met again tomorrow afternoon, Thursday evening and on several other occasions. Miss Mitchell can also be seen and heard in the new Luciano Pavarotti film "Yes, Giorgio" which opens today at the Ziegfeld Theater. Her opera career, which has already been a fine one, should blossom after such a splendid Leonora.



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