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Giuseppe Verdi travelled to St Petersburg in 1862 to premiere La forza del destino, which had been commissioned by the city's Imperial Theatre. The source material appealed to the composer's sense of tragic intensity and the ruthlessness of destiny. The local audience was accustomed to 18th-century Italian opera as well as French grand opéra, and the resulting work is a synthesis of aristocratic drama and popular comedy. In 1869 he revised the work so that it ends in death and transfiguration. This critically admired production of the revised version is conducted by Zubin Mehta, in a new staging that was 'enriched by some brilliant artists' (Lyric Opera Journal).