Don Álvaro, or, The Force of Fate

Don Álvaro, or, The Force of Fate

A Play by Ángel de Saavedra
Translated from the Spanish by Robert M. Fedorchek
with an introduction by Joyce Tolliver
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 174
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  • Book Info
    Don Álvaro, or, The Force of Fate
    Book Description:

    In this English edition designed for either classroom use or performance, Robert Fedorchek presents a readable translation faithful to the tone and spirit of the original.

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1646-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xxxii)
    Joyce Tolliver

    Don Álvaro, or the Force of Fate (Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino) is a work that is required reading for all serious students and scholars of Spanish literature. The work has not, however, been universally acknowledged as a masterpiece: when it was first performed in 1835, it immediately caused a scandal, and for several generations after its debut scholars and critics continued to express their outrage, or bemusement, or even scorn, at the work. Formally, the Duke of Rivas’s play seemed like an abomination to some members of its audience in 1835, for it violated all the accepted...

    (pp. 3-4)

    Notes: Costumes are clothes that were worn in the mideighteenth century.

    If there are not enough actors, one can play the roles of two or three minor characters who appear in different acts.

    If, because of inadequate settings in our theaters, the panorama of the scenery for the second act cannot be changed, a backdrop curtain that depicts a rugged mountain at night can be lowered within moments.

    This play premiered in Madrid at the Teatro del Príncipe on March 22, 1835, with the principal roles played by Señora Concepción Rodríguez and Señores Luna, Romea, López, etc....

  6. ACT 1 The action takes place in and around Seville
    (pp. 5-30)

    The stage reproduces the approach to the old pontoon bridge, passable on the right, that connects the suburb of Triana with Seville. In the foreground, also on the right, is a water-vending stall or booth fashioned from boards and sections of canvas, with a sign that reads ″Water from Tomares,″1 and inside the stall, on a rustic counter, are four large jugs, pots of flowers, glasses, a portable stove with a tin coffee kettle on it, and a tray of lemonflavored lumps of sugar. In front of the stall are pine benches. In the background, seen from afar, is a...

  7. ACT 2 The action takes place in and around the town of Hornachuelos
    (pp. 31-61)

    It is nighttime. The stage reproduces the kitchen of an inn in the town of Hornachuelos.1 In the foreground are the hearth and fireplace. On the left is the entry door, and on the right two practicable doors. On one side there is a long pine table, surrounded by rustic chairs, everything illuminated by one big oil lamp. The innkeeper and the mayor are seated by the fire, looking very grave; the innkeeper′s wife, on her knees, is cooking. Near the table, the student is singing and playing the guitar. The muleteer who will speak is sifting barley in the...

  8. ACT 3 The action takes place in Italy, in and around Veletri
    (pp. 62-86)

    The stage reproduces a small room, the quarters of profligate officers. Hanging on the walls, in disarray, are uniforms, cloaks, saddles, arms, etc.; in the middle stands a table with a green cover, and on it are two bronze candleholders with tallow candles; seated around the table are four officers, one of them with a deck of cards in his hand; and nearby there are other, unoccupied, chairs.

    pedraza. (He enters in a great hurry.) How quiet things are here!

    1st officer. They all took off as soon as they cleaned me out. I didn′t draw a single good hand....

  9. ACT 4 The action takes place in Veletri
    (pp. 87-110)

    The stage reproduces a small room that serves as military quarters.

    Don Álvaro and Don Carlos

    don carlos. Today, as you happily complete your convalescence, how′s your state of health? Is it completely sound? Do you notice any aftereffects from having suffered so much? Are you fully recovered, and fit and strong?

    don álvaro. I feel as if nothing had happened. I′ve never been healthier, and I owe my amazing recovery to your solicitude. You make an excellent nurse. Not even a mother shows such untiring zeal for her child, and such great care and concern.

    don carlos. I was...

  10. ACT 5 The action takes place in and around the Monastery of Los Ángeles
    (pp. 111-138)

    The theater reproduces the interior of the lower cloister of the Monastery of Los Ángeles, which should be an unassuming corridor that runs around a small courtyard with orange trees, oleander, and jasmine. On the left is the porter′s door; on the right, the stairs. The setting, or drop curtain, should be downstage so that others upstage can appear in order. Father Superior is pacing back and forth on the proscenium, engrossed in his breviary; Brother Melitón, without a cloak, his shirt sleeves rolled up, is ladling soup from a cauldron to the Old Man, the Lame Man, the One-Armed...

    (pp. 139-142)