La Forza del Destino is a popular opera. It is described by Lemony Snicket as a play in which "various characters argue, fall in love, get married in secret, run away to monasteries, engage in duels, and drop a gun on the floor, where it goes off and accidentally kills someone". According to Snicket, the end and the denouement occur simultaneously, and "the characters recognize and destroy one another over the course of a single song".
The Baudelaire parents attended the opera at least once. On meeting the Baudelaire children, Kit Snicket told them, of the occasion, "I remember that evening well. It was a performance of La Forza del Destino. Your mother was wearing a red shawl, with long features along the edges. During intermission I followed them to the snack bar and slipped them a box of poison darts before Esmé Squalor could catch me." Lemony Snicket was also there and he remembers hurrying out of the opera house, "before a certain woman could spot me". He later looked back on it as a "fateful evening long ago".
Count Olaf told the Baudelaire children to ask Dewey Denouement about their parents, a particular night to the opera, and a box of poison darts. He later says his parents were killed by poison darts. However, the Baudelaire orphans were not able to discover the whole truth of what had transpired.