Don Alvaro

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(Verdi: La forza del destino). Ten. A half‐caste South American prince in love with Leonora, daughter of the Marchese di Calatrava. Her father has forbidden their marriage and they decide to elope. The Marchese interrupts their departure and Alvaro throws his gun down in surrender, but it goes off, killing the old man. Leonora's brother vows vengeance. The young lovers become separated during their escape. Thinking Leonora must be dead, Alvaro joins the Spanish army, fighting in Italy in the war between Spain and Napoleon. He is injured and cared for in the camp by his new friend, who is Leonora's brother Carlo under an assumed name. Alvaro gives Carlo his private papers to look after, and Carlo finds his sister's portrait among them, so revealing Alvaro's true identity. Their duel is interrupted by an army patrol. Alvaro enters a monastery as Padre Raffaele. Found there by Carlo, they again fight and Carlo is seriously wounded. Calling for a hermit in the nearby caves to give absolution to the dying Carlo, Alvaro recognizes Leonora. As she gives her brother the last rites, he stabs her and she dies in Alvaro's arms. (In the original version, Alvaro then threw himself over a precipice, but Verdi toned this down in 1869 for the Milan version, as above.) Aria: O tu che in seno agli angeli (‘You who rose to the bosom of the angels’); duet (with Carlo): Solenne in quest’ ora (‘In this solemn hour’). Created (1862) by Enrico Tamberlick.

Subjects: Opera.

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