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Un Ballo in Maschera

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Falling in the center of Verdi’s storied career, the score of Un Ballo in Maschera moves freely between musical styles and forms—an impassioned declaration of love juxtaposed against the trilling of a coloratura soprano; a tense duet preceding a sinister laughing chorus. Despite these inconsistencies of tone, the work succeeds in telling a gripping story of friendship, betrayal, and, ultimately, forgiveness. In this performance, broadcast live from the “old Met,” two of opera’s most celebrated artists team up in the principal roles. Swedish tenor Jussi Björling is Riccardo, the jovial leader in love with his closest friend’s wife, opposite thrilling dramatic soprano Zinka Milanov as the object of his affections, Amelia. Ettore Panizza conducts a riveting performance, which also features soprano Stella Andreva as the page Oscar, mezzo-soprano Bruna Castagna as the mystic fortuneteller Ulrica, and baritone Alexander Sved as Riccardo’s advisor-turned-murder, Renato.

Full Synopsis

Performance Info

Performance Date

Dec 14, 1940


Giuseppe Verdi


Antonio Somma

Run Time

2 HRS 06 MIN

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus