Verdi: Gustavo III (DVD)

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Verdi: Gustavo III (DVD)

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Artists: Piero Pretti, Anna Pirozzi, Amartuvshin Enkhbat, Anna Maria Chiuri, Giuliana Gianfaldoni, Fabio Previati, Fabrizio Beggi, Carlo Cigni, Cristiano Olivieri, Federico Veltri, Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini Orchestra Rapsody, Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma
Conductor: Roberto Abbado
Director: Jacopo Spirei on a project by Graham Vick
Video Format: NTSC 16:9
Sound Format: Dolby Digital 5.1 / PCM 2.0
Language: Italian
Subtitles: Italian, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean
Region: All Regions
Number of Discs: 1
Studio: Dynamic
Release Date: September 16, 2022
Run Time: 144 minutes

The composition of Un ballo in maschera caused Verdi many problems. What began as an opera called Gustavo III was subject to censorship by the Neapolitan and Roman authorities, so its libretto, location, and title all changed. The subject, however, is still the murder of Gustavo (Riccardo) at the masked ball, couched in a musical language in which the seriousness of Italian opera is infused with French vivacity. The opera’s structure is carefully symmetrical in the great terzets, and the themes of duty, pleasure, drama and humor are rendered with masterful clarity.

The libretto used for this production is the original one set in Sweden for the opera’s Roman premiere, before the Papal censors required that the action be moved to colonial Boston.

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Verdi’s fascinating tale of the murder of a king had its world premiere at the Teatro Apollo in Rome in 1859, between the highly successful works of his middle period and the celebrated later masterpieces. David Alden, director of the new Met production, says: “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.”

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