UN BALLO IN MASCHERAOpera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi (Salzburg Festival 1990, Großes Festspielhaus - in Italian). A production of ORF, ZDF and NHK.
Herbert von Karajan's Salzburg opera legacy - Giuseppe Verdi's Un ballo in maschera. This production makes use of the original version of the masked ball, set in the Swedish royal court in the 1790s, but Verdi had to move it to innocuous, colonial Massachusetts shortly before the premiere due to pressure from censors. It was to be the climax of a Verdi series by Karajan at the Salzburg Festival, but the maestro died shortly before the premiere on July 16, 1989. Karajan's unsurpassed ability to combine sound culture and dramatic effect and his perfectionism in preparation always created unusual and highly acclaimed operatic events.
Karajan's unexpected death shocked the music world at the time, and especially the Salzburg Festival, which he had shaped for over 30 years. At that time, Sir Georg Solti confidently stepped in at short notice and took over the already finished production that Karajan had worked out with the great Hollywood director John Schlesinger. Together with the Vienna Philharmonic and great singing actors like Placido Domingo and Sumi Jo he brought the work to perfection. The following year there were 40,000 ticket requests for this production, and so it is a great good fortune that Karajan's last opera was recorded for posterity and can still be enjoyed today.
Conductor: Sir Georg Solti | Director: John Schlesinger | Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic| Duration: 152 minutes
With: Plácido Domingo (Gustavo III), Leo Nucci (Renato), Josephine Barstow (Amelia), Florence Quivar (Ulrica), Sumi Jo (Oscar), JeanLuc Chaignaud (Christiano), Kurt Rydl (Ribbing)