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Un ballo in maschera
Featuring Verdi on Radio3, Rai 5 and at the cinema
Teatro Regio, 19th June 2012 at 20.00
The 2011-12 Season of the Teatro Regio, entitled to Love, ends with a title of great repertoire by Verdi, Un ballo in maschera will be on stage from Tuesday 19th June to Sunday 1st July in a total of nine performances altogether. As usual, the premiere night will be broadcast live on Radio 3, the recitation of 21st June will be broadcast live through Microcinema, and abroad in the circuit Emerging Pictures. Moreover, also on 21st June the opera will be broadcast at 21.15 on Rai5.
The opera is co-produced with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Teatro Massimo Bellini from Catania. The setting, directed by Lorenzo Mariani, is the one that was premiered in Torino in 2004. The scenes are by Maurizio Balò and costumes by Maurizio Millenotti. On the podium of the Orchestra and Chorus of the Regio is Renato Palumbo, a world known director who returns after having been the master of Adriana Lecouvreur at the Regio in 2009 under the direction of Mariani, which Rai Trade made a DVD released by Arthaus Musik. The protagonists of the "love triangle" in the centre of the story are: the tenor Gregory Kunde (Riccardo), soprano Oksana Dyka (Amelia) for the first time in this role and baritone Gabriele Viviani (Renato). The Chorus of the Regio will be conducted by Claudio Fenoglio.
The melodrama, by Giuseppe Verdi, is in three acts. The libretto is by Antonio Somma from the drama of Eugène Scribe Gustave III, ou Le Bal Masque, debuted at the Teatro Apollo in Rome on 17th February, 1859 (and not in Naples as expected) after an exhausting dispute with the Bourbon censorship, which imposed Verdi to mask the messages potentially anti-monarchist. The main characters are: Riccardo, Earl of Warwick and Governor of Boston, Renato, his secretary, and Amelia, Renato's wife. The Count has organized a grand ball in which he might see Amelia again. She is the woman who he is secretly in love with, but also the woman who’s married to his dear friend, Renato. Riccardo is warned of a conspiracy hatched by his enemies, Samuel and Tom and the fortune teller Ulrica predicts that Renato will the be one to kill Riccardo, a prophecy that no one pays much attention. The discovery of the love between his wife and Riccardo, convinces Renato that he must cooperate with the conspirators to kill the Count. Everything happens in the famous scene of the masked ball, when Riccardo was fatally wounded by Renato, blinded by jealousy.
Mariani explains: «The action does not take place in America in the eighteenth century as expected from the booklet, but it is set between 1920 and 1930 as if the governor Riccardo was the Viceroy of India or of another colony [... ]. The entire opera is based on the contrast between light and shadow, the sets are highly dramatic and symbolic adding tension. A thriller atmosphere prevails and although black and white are the predominant colours throughout the performance, red is added to represent blood, love and passion.»
The Earl of Warwick is played by Gregory Kunde, an experienced tenor of the ‘bel canto’, but perfectly comfortable in more dramatic roles, such as his recent acclaimed interpretation of Arrigo in the Vespri Siciliani at the Teatro Regio. Alternating in the role of the Count is Giancarlo Monsalve a Chilean tenor. Amelia is interpreted through the voice of the young Ukrainian soprano Oksana Dyka, that the public has already been able to appreciate in her performance of Elisabeth de Valois in Don Carlo by Hugo de Ana directed by Semyon Bychkov in 2006. In the same role we have, Anna Pirozzi and Rebeka Lokar. Gabriele Viviani and Marco di Felice will alternate in the role of Renato, one of the most complex parts of the opera. Gabriele Viviani made his debut at the Regio before his performance in the same role at La Scala, and in 2013 he will be at the Staatsoper in Vienna. Di Felice is back to the Regio after having interpreted Don Carlo in Ernani which was directed by Bruno Campanella in 2007 and, in the same year, the character of Ford in Falstaff conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. The fortune teller, Ulrica, is played by Marianne Cornetti, recognized as one of the greatest Verdi’s mezzo-soprano, she will alternate the role with Elisabetta Fiorillo. The role en travesti of Oscar is played by Serena and Barbara Prawns Bargnesi. Rounding out the cast: Mark Camastra (Silvano), Antonio Barbagallo (Samuel), Gabriel Sagona (Tom), Luke Casalin (A judge), Dario Prola and Alejandro Escobar will alternate in the role of Amelia’s servant. Choreography is by Elizabeth Marini, the assistant director, and the lights are by Andrea Anfossi.
Un ballo in maschera will be presented to the public by Susanna Franchi at the Incontro con l’Opera to be held at the Piccolo Regio Puccini on Wednesday, 13th June at 17.30. Admission is free.
Teatro Regio, Department of Communications and Public Relations
Paola Giunti (Director), Sara Zago (Media Relations)
Phone: +39 011 8815233 - 8815239
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Torino, 6th June 2012