At the Opera

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Host Sean Bianco brings you a full-length opera featuring great voices from the past and present followed by “Opera Potpourri.”

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Saturday, 8 p.m. – 12 a.m.
on Music Station

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Saturday, April 28, 2018 Permalink

At The Opera, Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera, April 28, 2018

  

Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball) is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi with text by Antonio Somma. However, Somma's libretto was itself based on the five act libretto which playwright Eugène Scribe had written for Daniel Auber's 1833 opera, Gustave III, ou Le bal masqué.

Scribe wrote about the assassination in 1792 of King Gustav III of Sweden who was killed as the result of a political conspiracy against him. He was shot while attending a masked ballroom dance and died 13 days later of his wounds.

It was to take over two years between the time of the commission from Naples and planned for a production there and its premiere performance at the Teatro Apollo in Rome on February 17, 1859. In order to become the Un ballo in maschera which we know today, Verdi's opera (and his libretto) was forced to undergo a significant series of transformations and title changes. Based on the Scribe libretto and begun as Gustavo III set in Stockholm, it became Una vendetta in domino set in Stettin, and finally Un ballo in maschera set in Boston during the colonial era. These changes were caused by a combination of censorship regulations in both Naples and Rome, as well as by the political situation in France in January 1858. It became one of the most frustrating experiences of Verdi's career.

Cast:

Riccardo – Carlo Bergonzi

Renato – Robert Merrill

Amelia – Leontyne Price

Ulrica – Shirley Verrett

RCA Italian Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Erich Leinsdorf – conductor

RCA studio recording - 1967

Playlist

8:00pm
8:00pm
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana, opera Intemezzo BUY Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony; Ondrej Lenard, conductor
Naxos 8550240
8:13pm
Giuseppe Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera BUY RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra; Erich Leinsdorf, conductor
11:00pm
11:10pm
VERDI: Act 1 Verdi's Rigoletto 1954 BUY RAI; Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor


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