HomeProductionsOperasUn Ballo in MascheraAct 1

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.


    March, 2019