Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
9 July 2013
“As Verdi’s grand work, La Forza del Destino, is repeated, it is more appreciated. The constant flow of melody throughout the opera charms as it becomes familiar. The tragedy involved in the story is so brilliantly relieved by the lighter scenes which occur in every act that the work loses all the heaviness which the libretto might suggest. Last night it was received with more pleasure and applause than on any previous occasion, and, we may add, with more evident comprehension of the beauties of the music and no little enthusiasm for the efforts of the artists. The house was very large, fashionable and elegantly attired. The custom of introducing exquisite toilettes into the Academy appears to be more exacting every night. We doubt whether at any previous time was produced a more brilliant display of jewels, costly fabrics and refined taste in costume than can be seen in the Academy at the present season.”
“The third performance . . . was witnessed, last evening, by an exceedingly full and brilliant audience. The work improves so rapidly on acquaintance that there is no longer a doubt about its becoming one of the most popular in Mr. Maretzek extensive and singularly fresh repertoire. The singers were in fair voice, and the judicious curtailments made since the first night enabled all to hear the end of the opera.”
"The novelty at the Academy of Music, the Forza del Destino, has continued, this week, to be the musico-fashionable preoccupation of the city. At the second performance, there were more people than at the first; that's natural. A crowd attracts a crowd . . . . It's incredible how many people there are who come here or there because others are there, and who are less attracted by a spectacle than by the spectators . . . . Also, all the New York opera [fans] will go, doubtless, to see theForza del Destino; but I don't believe that they will come back a lot, nor that that work will last a long time on the posters."
Verdi’s choice of the libretto is less favorable than in his other operas. Verdi has written better music in the past. Except in the second act, the music is neither original nor interesting. And even in the second act the composition is repetitive. The composer seems to have run out of ideas for new melodies. The attention to details—in the prayer in the second act, for instance—is better, however, than in Verdi’s other works. Also, compared to his other compositions, he has given more attention to the orchestral parts.