Jeff Smith noon, March 8
San Diego Opera: Verdi's A Masked Ball
Polish tenor Piotr Beczala has performed at every major opera house in the world including La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera and Munich; Bulgarian soprano Krassimira Stoyanova is hailed in Germany as the Stradivarius of sopranos and beloved at Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, the Paris Opera and Vienna State Opera; and the great American mezzo-soprano, Stephanie Blythe, brilliant at the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden and Berlin, make up a cast any great opera house would be proud to have for Verdi’s A Masked Ball.
Although the close relationship between Sweden’s King Gustav III and Amelia, wife of his best friend, Count Anckarström, has never crossed the line, jealousy and politics cause Anckarström to join a band of conspirators and ultimately to murder the King in front of his wife at a masked ball. As he dies, Gustav reveals the truth, and in operatic tradition, pardons Anckarström.
Inspired by the real-life assassination of King Gustav III after which Anckarström was actually beheaded, A Masked Ball is powerful, threatening, dangerous and romantic. The music is some of Verdi’s best and with artists of the caliber we have assembled, this production promises to be one of the most powerful, musical and dramatic ever seen on our stage. Italian conductor, Massimo Zanetti, in demand at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Dresden and Munich makes his debut, joined by Lesley Koenig, director of last season’s Samson and Delilah.