Verdi’s vivid drama of jealousy and vengeance will be seen in a new production by acclaimed opera director David Alden, returning to the Met for the first time in more than 20 years. Fabio Luisi conducts his first Met performances of the opera, which stars Karita Mattila in her Met role debut as Amelia, Marcelo Álvarez as Gustavo III, Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Anckarström, Stephanie Blythe as the fortuneteller Ulrica, and Kathleen Kim as the page Oscar. Alden, whose production is set in a dreamlike, early 20th-century Swedish environment, says that “Un Ballo in Maschera is one of Verdi’s greatest and most brilliant scores, with a variety of different colors. It alternates between the light and the intensely melodramatic. Verdi pulls it all together with unbelievable theatrical energy. Ballo is theatrical dynamite.”
Mary Ann Archer, former flutist and piccoloist with The Metropolitan Opera for over 26 years, will give a pre-performance lecture on ‘Themes and Colors in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera’ on December 16, 2012 at 12:15 PM in the Balcony Lounge. Playing musical themes on flute, alto flute, and piccolo, Mary Ann will highlight the different ‘colors’ of the music Verdi wrote for the various characters in the opera. Come hear the beautiful ‘praying music’ of Amelia, the short, sinister notes of the traitors, the dark, powerful music of the fortune-teller Ulrica, the high, bright melodies of the page Oscar, and the powerful longing in King Gustavo’s themes. Mary Ann will also include a few ways the orchestra members ‘enjoyed themselves’ while playing this beautiful score.
Thank you to Speak! Language Center for partnering with us for the pre-opera lectures.