Gian Carlo Menotti's Amelia Goes to the Ball is the opera for this week's Lyric Stage
Lover, husband, the police - nothing is going to stop Amelia from going to the ball on The Lyric Stage Sunday (6/4).
This week we have Gian Carlo Menotti's first success and still one of the finest of his operas, the one act Amelia Goes to the Ball. He wrote it beginning in 1933, and finished the orchestration in 1937. The premier was at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia in an English translation by George Mead. The cast featured members of the Curtis Institute of Music where Menotti had studied. A few days later, the same cast presented it in New York, where is was so successful the Metropolitan picked it up and first performed it on March 3, 1938; the first performance in Italian was at San Remo on April 4, 1938.
Amelia is dressing for a ball when her husband storms in, having found a love letter to her. He leaves angrily and her lover enters through a window; they sing a duet. The husband returns and during the ensuing argument Amelia, becoming ever more impatient at not going to the ball, breaks a vase on her husband’s head. She blames her lover when the police arrive. Her husband goes to the hospital, her lover to jail. But Amelia has her wish, as the chief of police takes her to the ball. A joyful chorus from the gathered crowd closes the opera.
Our cast is from a 1954 recording in Italian featuring soprano Margherita Carosio as Amelia, baritone Rolando Paerai as her husband, tenor Giacinio Prandelli as her lover, and bass Enrico Campi as the Chief of Police. Nino Sanzogno conducts the La Scala Orchestra and Chorus.