Giuseppe Verdi: Un ballo in maschera
Un ballo in maschera
Salzburger Festspiele, 1990
Plácido Domingo (Gustavo)
Leo Nucci (Renato)
Josephine Barstow (Amelia)
Florence Quivar (Ulrica)
Sumi Jo (Oscar)
Jean-Luc Chaignaud (Christiano)
Kurt Rydl (Horn)
Goran Simic (Ribbing)
Wolfgang Witte (Un giudice)
Adolf Tomaschek (Un servo)
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
Sir Georg Solti
Stage Director: John Schlesinger
This is destined to become a classic recording. -
Joe McLellan, Redludwig.com
TDK releases on DVD yet another gem from the archives of Austrian Television.
The outstanding production of Verdis Masked Ball at the Salzburg
Festivals 1989 and 1990 was Herbert von Karajans legacy to the Festival.
Supported by a cast of superlative actor-singers in opulent scenery, Sir
Georg Solti agreed to conduct the opera at short notice after Karajans
unexpected death in 1989.
For Un ballo in maschera Karajan planned something unusual: he would
not set the opera in colonial Massachusetts, as the censors had forced
Verdi to do when he was composing the work, but in Stockholm in the 1790s
at the court of King Gustav III of Sweden, as Verdi had originally conceived.
Together with the film director John Schlesinger and his stage team, Karajan
developed a concept that promised theatrical splendor equal to the musical
excellence that the conductor and the handpicked cast of singers would
surely provide in collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
But this was not to be: stage rehearsals had already begun for the opening
performance of the 1989 festival when Karajan died on July 16th.
The performance on this DVD was recorded when Un ballo in maschera was
revived for six performances the following year, with the same cast and
with Solti back on the podium. However, 40,000 applications for tickets
could not be met, and it may have been some comfort to the ticketless
that ORF transmitted the première live on televisionnot only
to Austria but also simultaneously to Japan.