An all-star cast, led by Luciano Pavarotti at the height of his fame in one of his most celebrated roles. Joined by Katia Ricciarelli (Amelia), Judith Blegen (Oscar), Bianca Berini (Ulrica) and Louis Quilico (Renato). Conducted by Giuseppe Patane. This was an eye-catching and thought-provkoing production. Moshinsky staged the action in pre-revolutionary 1774 Boston.
Passion, loyalty and political conspiracy are the three pillars of Un ballo in maschera (1859), the ‘most operatic of all operas’. Set in XIX century Boston, Mario Martone’s athmospheric production for the Teatro Real in Madrid brings out all the innate theatricality and drama of Verdi’s work. World famous Argentinean tenor Marcelo Álvarez in the role of Riccardo leads a fabulous cast including Lithuanian soprano Violeta Urmana as his love Amelia and Elena Zaremba playing the witch Ulrica. Jesús López Cobos conducts the Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a performance that shows the lyricism and grandeur of this beautiful work, which marries grand opera and opera comique features with Verdi's classical Italian opera tradition.
In this recording Riccardo Chailly directs Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera for the first time in his function as General Music Director of the Leipzig Oper on the 2nd of November 2005. Un ballo in maschera is as exciting as a thriller, but with a passion that can only be experienced in a Verdi opera. It stands to reason that only a man of equal passion would have the ability of bringing this spectacle to the stage adequately.
All of these are live recordings so the sound is quite variable. The standard square box contains separate soft plastic sleeves in which the cds are inserted. The advantage is that the cds are well protected (minor risk for scrapes compared to cardboard), but there is no information printed on the sleeve since it is made of plastic. There is some basic information printed on each cd (name, composer, cd #, the act/s and the date of the recording). There is also a small 24pg booklet that introduces the box including some photos as well as content description for each disc (opera, singers, time and location as well as a list of the separate tracks). I have been collecting these boxes for a while and always find it worthwhile as there are gems nicely interspersed in these collections. By Moonfish
Passion, loyalty and political conspiracy are the three pillars of Un ballo in maschera (1859), the most operatic of all operas . Set in XIX century Boston, Mario Martone s athmospheric production for the Teatro Real in Madrid brings out all the innate theatricality and drama of Verdi s work. World famous Argentinean tenor Marcelo Álvarez in the role of Riccardo leads a fabulous cast including Lithuanian soprano Violeta Urmana as his love Amelia and Elena Zaremba playing the witch Ulrica. Jesús López Cobos conducts the Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a performance that shows the lyricism and grandeur of this beautiful work, which marries grand opera and opera comique features with Verdi's classical Italian opera tradition.
A brief reminder, to begin with, of the chequered history of Un ballo in maschera. Antonio Somma wrote the libretto, based on a play by Eugène Scribe, entitled Gustave III (1833). This, in its turn, was based on some historical facts concerning the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden in 1792. The background was a political conspiracy but Scribe embroidered proceedings with a love story between the king and Amelia. Censorship in Italy in the late 1850s would not accept the portrayal of a king being murdered on the opera stage and the story had to be reworked. This happened, not once but twice and it all ended up in the transportation of the action from Stockholm to Boston during colonial times. The king became the British governor. In that shape it was premiered in Rome on 17 February 1859 and was an immediate success. It rapidly spread to New York and London and has ever since been regarded as one of Verdi’s best operas. – Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International.
Systematic development of a solid technical basis for the stylistic interpretation of the Renaissance, the Baroque and the Classical Period, drawn from the treatises by Ganassi, Ortiz, Simpson, Rousseau, Danoville, Louilié, annotations by Marin Marais, J. B. Forqueray & others.
It's great to finally have this BALLO on DVD! This has always been one of Verdi's best works and it is handled here with a terrific cast and conductor. I prefer this recording to the medicore BALLO from 1980, also with Pavarotti, but Ricciarelli and Quilico are nowhere near as effective as Millo and Nucci. NOt to mention, this production, with a historically acruate setting of Sweden, is much more pleasing on the eye than the barren attempt to recreate colonial Boston of the older production… By Amazon Jon "AJ" (Connecticut, United Staates)
Giuseppe Verdi was born in the little town of Roncole in the vicinity of Parma and spent the longest period of his life in seclusion close to Parma. He died in Milan in 1901. Today, the region of Parma honours its one-time fellow citizen with the international Verdi Festival organized by the Teatro Regio di Parma. Every year, Verdi’s masterworks are performed in the historical theatres of Parma and neighbouring Busseto over 28 days in the autumn…