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Opera in 4 acts
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave based on Ángel de Saavedra
First performed 1862, Bolschoi, St. Petersburg
This production first seen January 27 2019
Sung in Italian with German & English surtitles
Introduction (on video, in German) will appear here and on YouTube shortly before opening night
This grand scale opera about all consuming passion and the destructive power of racism, is electrifying. Verdi, at the height of his powers, wrote what was probably his most experimental score for St. Petersburg. Free from constraints, based on the romantic work by Duque de Rivas, he set off in a new direction, the scenes in this complicated story forming a kind of a montage. Psychologically charged encounters between the lead protagonists appear alongside huge choral numbers, which don't have a lot to do with the story. The Marchese von Calatrava forbids his daughter Leonora to enter into a relationship with Don Alvaro because of the colour of his skin. A gun goes off when he bursts in on them, killing the Marchese. Leonora's brother Don Carlo spends three acts trying to hunt the lovers down, who became separated trying to escape, until the fatal reunion takes place. Tobias Kratzer stages the central theme of racism in scenes with all kinds of theatrical effects.