Un Ballo in Maschera

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Un Ballo in Maschera

Un Ballo in Maschera


Act 1

 

 

The action takes place in Boston and its environs during the time of English reign (XVIII century)

Scene 1

After the overture, which includes several main themes of the opera, the stage action begins with a chorus praising the earl Richard, the governor of colonial Boston.

The whole courtyard has gathered. A young page Oscar announces the arrival of the Earl Richard. Richard looks through the official papers (there is a list of guests invited to a masquerade among them) and sees the name of his secretly beloved Amelia - the wife of his friend and secretary Renato. He sings the aria "La rivedro nell estasi" ("Once again, for a moment, my love").

A group of conspirators, dissatisfied with the Earl’s governing of the earl, plans to kill him. Renato learns about this and warns his friend about the impending assassination in his aria "Alla vita che t'arride" ("Remember, Earl, With Your Destiny"). But Richard does not pay any attention to the news about danger.

The judge brings the paper with verdict to banish a witch Ulrike. The page Oscar intercedes for her- aria "Volta la terrea" ("Star is together with her"). Richard offers his friends to go to Ulrike to see if the rumors of her witchcraft are true. He is going to be dressed as a fisherman. In the final ensemble part everyone expresses a desire to take part in this entertainment - "Ogni cura si doni al biletto" ("At night I'll go to the fortune-teller with you").

Scene 2

Ulrike's hut. A crowd of awaiting people. Ulrika utters a spell, summons the powers of evil: "Re dell'abisso affrettati" ("King of the Underworld, appear in front of me").

Ulrika guesses at a sailor Silvano and predicts a change for the better. Richard likes a brave sailor, and he throws a letter to his belongings with a message about the officer's rank.

Amelia’s servant comes in and asks the witch for a secret meeting with his mistress. Everyone retires. Amelia admits to Ulrike that she loves Richard and asks to help her to get rid of her forbidden passion. The witch tells her to tear off the magic plant at night at the cemetery – and love will disappear: "Della citta all'ocasso" ("If you go west").

Richard, overhearing the conversation, decides to follow his beloved to the cemetery.

But now he wants to know his fate and sings barcarol "Di 'tu se fidele" ("Tell me if the sea storm threatens me"). Ulrika predicts his imminent death. A killer will be the one who today gives him hand first. Renato enters and shakes the Earl's hand. Richard laughs at the witch - a true friend cannot become a murderer: "E scherzo od e follia" ("Madness or a joke").

Now Richard reveals the witch who he really is. He also tells her that her predictions are completely ridiculous, so she can easily remain in the country. The action ends with sounds of chorus that glorify Richard.

Act II

   The second action begins with a scene that occurs late at night. At the cemetery Amelia is looking for a plant: "Ecco l'orrido campo" ("Here it is, this field"). She grieves that she must forget her love for Richard forever "Ma dall'arido" ("I'll find the sorcery grass").

Richard appears, he declares his love to Amelia, "Non sai tu che se l'anima mia" ("You do not know how conscience is severe") and is happy to be convinced that Amelia loves him too: "Ah, qual soave brivido" ("Oh, these sweet words "). Unexpectedly Renato finds the enamored couple: not recognizing his wife, he warns the earl that the conspirators are approaching and gives him his cloak. Richard makes him swear that he escorts a lady wrapped up in a cloak and veil to the city without talking to her and without trying to find out who she is: "Odi tu come fremono cupi" ("Something on the rock is rustling"), .

The conspirators, who met the secretary instead of the earl, are disappointed. They want to know the name of his lady, but Renato unsheathes his sword. To save her husband, Amelia sheds a veil. Renato is shocked. He decides to avenge on Richard and his unfaithful wife.

Act III

 Scene 1

House of Renato and Amelia. Renato is sure that his wife has betrayed him with his best friend and demands her death. She wants passionately to explain everything, but in vain. In the aria "Morro, ma prima in grazia" ("Let me before I die") Amelia prays to allow her to say goodbye to her son before death. Renato decides to spare her, but to take revenge on the earl. When Amelia leaves, Renato sings the aria "Eri tu che macchiavi quell 'anima" ("You poisoned the soul with poison"). There are conspirators Samuel and Tom. Each of the three wants to inflict a mortal blow.

They cast lots, who will get the privilege of accomplishing revenge: the "Dunque l'onta di tutti sol una" ("Our secret wound brought us") sounds. At this moment, Amelia returns and Renato demands her to draw lots. Amelia does not know anything and pulls out a sheet. There is Renato's name.

The page Oscar brings the invitation to the ball-masquerade. Amelia wants to refuse, but Renato accepts this invitation.

 Scene 2

Room in the palace. Richard signs a decree on appointment - he sends Renato as an ambassador to England, not to meet more with Amelia: "Forse la soglia attinse" ("It is true, she is already at home"). So his honor and duty oblige him to do: "Ma se m'e forza perderti" ("Forever we must be apart").

The page sends a letter to the Earl without a signature. This is Amelia, guessing about the conspiracy, warns Richard of the imminent threat to him at the masquerade. But Richard thinks only about one thing: at the ball he will see his beloved, he will be able to say goodbye to her.

Scene 3

The ball is in full swing, all are in masks. At the ball there are conspirators among the guests. Renato fishes out of Oscar what dress the earl is wearing. He assures the page that it is necessary for his safety. So the young man, used to believe Richard’s friend, reveals the secret.

Amelia and Richard are meeting at the ball. He tells her about his decision to send her and Renato to England, their voices merge in the last duet "Ah! perche qui! .. fuggite "-" T'amo, si, t'amo, e in lagrime "(" Ah, you are all here! Run! "-" You see, in tears I pray "). Seeing Amelia and Richard, Renato strikes a friend with a dagger. Dying, Richard forgives Renato and swears that his wife's honour has not been tainted: "Ella e pura: in braccio a morte" ("Dying, you swear I ... she is innocent").

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September, 2018

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