Christof Loy directs this production of Verdi’s opera at the Royal Opera House. Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews…

The Guardian: **** “The tone sometimes falters, and the transformation of the army camp scenes into a surreal revue, reminiscent of Oh, What a Lovely War, sits at times uneasily with the score. Ultimately, it doesn’t quite gel, though the performance itself is magnificent and unforgettable.”

The Independent: **** “Netrebko’s Leonora is a mature woman in her splendid prime, rather than a vulnerable girl, but her singing is simply sublime, power and pathos under the smoothest control. Kaufmann’s top notes have the usual heroic gleam and his pianissimi are gorgeously focused.”

The Telegraph: **** “This is without doubt the biggest event of the current operatic season – a new staging of one of Verdi’s most grandly scaled works, conducted by Antonio Pappano and sung by a gold-plated cast led by two of the world’s last remaining superstars, Russian soprano Anna Netrebko and German tenor Jonas Kaufmann.”

Bachtrack: ***** “But this was an evening less about the staging than the singing, which was unforgettable.”

The Stage: ***** “Overseeing the musical performance is the Royal Opera’s greatest single asset, Antonio Pappano, under whose dynamic lead the orchestra, chorus and principals blaze away in this ambitious and far-reaching operatic epic.”

The Times: ***** “Like the plot, in which the tenor accidentally shoots dead the father of the woman he loves (rarely a helpful move), Verdi’s monster raving loony opera of ill-fate, Catholic guilt and vengeance has itself acquired a reputation for smiting bad luck on performers. And, true to form, rumours abound about the Royal Opera’s new production.”

Broadway World: **** “Antonio Pappano propels Verdi’s juggernaut of a score with control pitched right on the brink of chaos – scowling dark with fury and risk and pathos. His cast match him for thrills, and the result is as exhilarating as it is unstoppable.”

Evening Standard: **** ” Beyond praise too is the conducting of Antonio Pappano, who unfailingly transmits the urgency of the drama, with its jabbing fate motif and inexorable drive.”

The Express: ***** “Some aspects of the production, such as the occasional projection of large images of the cast onto the set, seemed an unnecessary distraction, but in general they avoided the temptation of too much directional involvement.”

Londonist: **** “Ultimately, La Forza is a tortured, earthy, exquisite ride of Godfather proportions, well worth a ticket for the assembly of fabulous vocal talent. There are just moments when it’s infinitely preferable to listen, rather than watch…”

The London Magazine: “La Forza del Destino is a triumph in its casting, most particularly Anna Netrebko who gives a simply stunning career best, Antonio Pappano conducts the orchestra with vigour and more than upholds his reputation as one of the best Verdi interpreters. The production is a bit poor and isn’t worthy of the singers on the stage but, with a cast this good, the production really doesn’t matter, this is the operatic event of the year.”

MusicOMH: ***** ” Anna Netrebko was the undoubted star of the evening, her voice now ideal for this role from the alternately impassioned and vacillating first scene to her final exquisite pleas.”

La Forza Del Destino continues to play at the Royal Opera House until the 22nd April.


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