The Sunday Opera: Verdi's "Un Ballo in Maschera" from Opera North
We’re staying in England for this week’s Sunday Opera (8/5 3:00 p.m.) and the Opera North production of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera.” Without the censors of the 1850s, Antonio Somma’s libretto is set, as it was first intended, in Sweden, where the opera deals with the political machinations surrounding the assassination of King Gustavus III. The cast includes Rafael Rojas as Gustavus, Adrienn Miksch as Amelia, Philip Rhodes as Count Anckarstroem (Renato), Patricia Bardon as the fortune teller Ulrika, and Tereza Georgyan as Gustavus’ page Oscar.
The Opera North Chorus and Orchestra is conducted by Richard Farnes. Join Michael Kownacky after the opera for music from a Scandinavian (since the opera is reset there) and two works by Finland’s Jean Sibelius, his “choral symphony” that relates the tragic life of Kullervo and one of Sibelius’ thirteen tone poems, “The Wood-Nymph,” which tells the story of a young man who wanders into a forest and is driven to despair by the nymph who seduces him.