Barbed wire and gruel: cold comfort in ENO’s Force of Destiny

Verdi: La forza del destino ***

English National Opera, 9th November 2015

“A co-production with Metropolitan Opera”: five words which probably explain why Calixto Bieito’s new production of Verdi’s The Force of Destiny for English National Opera is – for him – a tame affair. Bieito, who grew up not far from Guernica, sets the action – quite reasonably – in the Spanish Civil War. Opera’s answer to Quentin Tarantino offers a grim, grey reading, which is unlikely to ruffle too many feathers in New York. Strong musical performances kick life into proceedings, but much of the evening was dramatically inert.

© Robert Workman

© Robert Workman

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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