Donna Leonora di Vargas

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(Verdi: La forza del destino). Sop. Daughter of the Marchese di Calatrava, brother of Carlo di Vargas. She is in love with the half caste Alvaro but her father has forbidden their marriage. As they try to elope, the Marchese intercepts them. Alvaro's gun accidentally goes off, killing her father. She and Alvaro flee, but become separated and each believes the other to have died. Leonora knows her brother is pursuing them both, determined to avenge their father's death. She seeks refuge in a monastery, requesting permission to spend the rest of her life in solitary confinement in a sacred cave. Years later, Alvaro comes to the monastery and becomes a monk. There Carlo seeks him out and the two men fight a duel. Carlo is fatally wounded and Alvaro calls to the cave for someone to give him absolution. He and Leonora recognize each other, but as she gives her brother the last rites, Carlo stabs her. In Alvaro's arms at last, Leonora dies. Arias: Me pellegrina ed orfana (‘As wanderer and orphan’); Madre, pietosa Vergine (‘Holy Mother, compassionate Virgin’); Pace, pace, mio Dio (‘Peace, give me peace, O Lord’). Created (1862) by Caroline Barbot.

Subjects: Opera.

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