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The Lyric Stage: June 17 - Menotti's Amelia Goes to the Ball

Gian Carlo Menotti's first success and still one of the finest of his operas, was Amelia Al Ballo, Amelia Goes to the Ball. He wrote it beginning in 1933 and finished the orchestration in 1937. Members of the Curtis Institute of Music (where Menotti had studied) premiered the opera at the Academy of Music in Phiiladelphia on April 1, 1937, in an English translation by George Mead. 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 goes to jail and Amelia goes to the ball, escorted by the police chief. Our cast is from a 1954 recording in Italian featuring soprano Margherita Carosio as Amelia, baritone Rolando Panerai as her husband, tenor Giacinio Prandelli as her lover. Bass Enrico Campi is the Chief of Police, and Nino Sanzogno conducts the La Scala orchestra and chorus.