La Forza del Destino - Don Carlos is on Stage Again
The world might fall apart and wars might come and go, but still Giuseppe Verde is an indisputable classic of all opera stages of the world. The story which is named La Forza Destino – and Don Carlos and poor Alvaro – are still classics throughout the world, and thousands are compassionate to the feelings of two men, whose lives are broken because of a woman. One of them, Alvaro, is her lover, another one, Carlos, is her brother.
Why are we so focused on the figure of Don Carlos and not on Alvaro’s? Probably, that’s so just because the most controversial figure is also the most attractive one. It’s not exciting to support the character who is obviously the positive one. There must be some conflict inside, and we must follow it and understand it to support our hero whether he’s right or wrong.
This character is Don Carlos – he might feel brotherly feelings to Alvaro and wish him all the happiness. They could become brothers. But Carlos is driven by the force of destiny (la forza del destino – in Italian), and he just can’t leave this path to follow another one. Our aim as spectators is to find out when the characters acts driven by his own will and when he’s just oppressed by circumstances. That’s a real puzzle, and it’s really exciting to play with it.
Sure, there’s also a part of the audience who are excited by the adventures of the loving couple. But in a while all these stories are getting some sense of banal, while a controversial figure of their rival who has to destroy harmony against his own will is always attractive. That’s why Don Carlos is not the evil genius but the central character of the opera as a whole.
On the other hand, the conflict itself is a kind of eternal one. In La Forza del Destino Don Carlos becomes the rival of the lovers just because of his duty and because of the demands of society. All of us are in some sense driven by these demands and it’s a good idea to think properly whether we do things that we really want. Or, probably, we’re destroying other people’s lives and our own lives without any hesitation just because we’re convinced that it ought to be so – because of the forces of the destiny?
Although opera and any other art is some kind of grotesque, we can’t avoid the fact – our emotions provoked by them are true. And beautiful unreal story of Don Carlos is a true key to our everyday life – no matter how fantastic it might sound.