Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera (2-CD) – Piotr Beczala, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Krassimira Stoyanova

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Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera (2-CD) – Piotr Beczala, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Krassimira Stoyanova

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Artists: Piotr Beczala, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Krassimira Stoyanova, Nadia Krasteva, Hila Fahima, Alexandru Moisiuc, Sorin Coliban, Igor Onishchenko, Thomas Ebenstein; Orchester, Chor und Bühnenorchester der Wiener Staatsoper
Conductor: Jesús López Cobos
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Orfeo
CD Release Date: February 18, 2021

Initially composed for the 1857-58 Carnival Season at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, this opera about the murder of Swedish King Gustav III was rejected by Neapolitan censors, and so were its revisions.

Despite changes, the melodrama was very well received by the audience, and up until today Un ballo in maschera is one of Verdi’s most popular stage works. Like most modern performances, this recording is based on the Swedish version of the opera. Its first performance at the Vienna Opera House on the Ring was given in 1870 and has since enjoyed well over 500 performances in this house.

The star-studded cast includes Piotr Beczala as Gustav III, Dmitri Hvorostovky as Renato and Krassimira Stoyanova as Emilia, peforming under the baton of Jesús López Cobos. Live recording April 2016.

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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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