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Collection of 8 well-executed original watercolour set designs for La Forza del Destino, in all likelihood after noted Verdi set designer Carlo Ferrario
La forza del destino, an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave after Angel de Saavedra, Duke of Rivas's play Don Alvaro, o La fuerza del sino, with a scene from Friedrich von Schiller's play Wallensteins Lager, translated by Andrea Maffei, was first performed in St. Petersburg at the Imperial Theatre on 29 October/10 November 1862 and in a revised version, with additional text by Antonio Ghislanzoni in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala on February 27, 1869. The sets for this performance were by Ferrario. "La forza del destino reached something of a low point in the early years of this century, its sprawling action and mixture of comic, tragic and picturesque finding no resonance in a climate dominated by the Wagnerian model. But times have changed, and since the 1930s the opera has become one of the most popular of Verdi's works after the three middle-period masterpieces. This swing of fortune suggests an important shift in our expectations of what constitutes satisfying musical drama, because La forza is undoubtedly Verdi's most daring attempt at creating a 'patchwork' drama - or, as he once called it, an 'opera of ideas'. We look in vain for the kind of unifying colours found in Rigoletto or Il trovatore, and it is surely no accident that Verdi's 1869 revision could so radically change certain sequences in the action, even - as in Act 3 - transferring passages from one part of a scene to another. The opera is, in other words, only loosely linear: a significant precursor of 'native' Russian operas such as Prince Igor and Boris Godunov." Roger Parker in Grove Music Online. Ferrario (1833-1907), a distinguished Italian scene painter and stage designer, "designed the premières of Boito's Mefistofele (1868), Ponchielli's La Gioconda (1876) and Gomes's Maria Tudor (1879), as well as new scenes of operas already in the repertory, including Norma and Mosè in Egitto. After falling out with the La Scala management in 1881, he worked for the Teatro Carcano... Without assistance, he created all the scenes there, a stunning achievement that led to commissions from other major theatres, notably the Argentina in Rome (for whom he had designed Gomes's Salvator Rosa in 1878) and the S Carlo in Naples, with which he had a long association." "Ferrario accepted Verdi's call to return to La Scala in 1887 to design Otello, and was subsequently appointed art director (1889) and director of scene painting (1890)... He was Verdi's preferred designer and created the first sets for Falstaff and a new Rigoletto (both 1893)... The most influential Italian scenic artist in the second half of the 19th century, Ferrario continued an unbroken tradition that had begun with the Bibiena family... His scenic realizations for Verdi are the foundation of the Verdi tradition, and his ideas were carried on by a number of his students and disciples, including Vittorio Rota, Antonio Rovescali and Mario Salas." David J. Hough in Grove Music Online.. Sheet ca. 225 x 305 mm. In monochrome, some highlighted with white. Each design identified in brown ink below the image, "Forza del Destino" in manuscript at lower right, numbered in blue pencil at upper left: 1. Prologo. Sala. With staging notes in a 19th century hand to verso. 2. Atto 2o Sc 1 Stanza terrena d'osteria 3. Atto 2o Scena 2a convento 4. Atto 3o Scena 3a Accampamento 5. Atto 3a Scena 1a Bosco 6. Atto 2o Scena 2a Camera dell'Ufficiale. With staging notes in a 19th century hand to verso. 7. Atto 4o Scena 1a Cortile del Chiostro 8. Atto 4o Scena 2a Gola di monte Slightly worn, soiled, and stained; some creasing; circular handstamp of Ricordi in Milano in dark purple ink to lower margin of each design.
      [Bookseller: J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians LLC]
Last Found On: 2018-01-09           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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