Оpera in three acts
music by Giuseppe Verdi
The Mikhailovsky Theatre closed its 177th season with an opera premiere — a new production of Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball) by Giuseppe Verdi. The assassination of Gustav III of Sweden in 1792 became the basis of many plays and operas, among them an opera libretto by Eugène Scribe, set by Giuseppe Verdi in 1859 as Un ballo in maschera . In order to become the Un ballo in maschera which we know today, Verdi’s opera was forced to undergo a series of transformations, caused by a combination of censorship regulations, as well as the political situation in France in 1858. Verdi retained the names of some of the historical figures involved, the conspiracy, and the killing at the masked ball. The rest of the play — the characterizations, the romance, the fortune-telling — is an invention and the opera is not historically accurate.
Andrejs Zagars, a Latvian stage director, in cooperation with set designer Andris Freibergs and costume designer Kristine Pasternaka staged a new production of the opera at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. The public of St Petersburg saw a stylish and exciting piece which was a showcase for the best soloists of the Mikhailovsky Opera.