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Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, December 2017

Budgets rarely allow traditional productions of operas with lavish sets these days. It seems that Verdi’s Un Ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball) which I consider a masterpiece has been subjected to more than its fair share of directorial imagination over the years. This new 2016 Bayerische Staatsoper production by Johannes Erath had a mixed reception directorially but it contains some outstanding performances notably from Piotr Beczała and Anja Harteros. Erath displays his fertile and detailed concept with his staging, one that rewards greatly with repeated plays. Eminently enjoyable, this marvellous if underrated Verdi opera is compellingly performed with Piotr Beczała in masterly form. © 2017 MusicWeb International



James Lockhart
Fulvue Drive-in, September 2017

Shot in Munich in March 2016, Giuseppe Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera (aka A Masked Ball) is beautiful opera that you won’t want to miss. Featuring soprano Anja Harteros, singing Amelia for the first time and tenor Piotr Beczała, director Johannes Erath’s new production was a huge hit with audiences and is now finding its way onto disc thanks to Unitel.

Performed by the Bayerisches Staatsorchester Orchestra, the show co-stars George Petean, Anja Harteros, Okka von der Damerau, and Sofia Fomina. © 2017 Fulvue Drive-in Read complete review




Manuel Ribeiro
Pizzicato, July 2017

In a single set, Johannes Erath develops Verdi’s Un Ballo in maschera in a rather dark perspective. The staging has a great dramatic power, yet the music clearly keeps the first place her. Zubin Mehta’s conducting is absolutely masterful and gives the excellent singers all the support they need. © 2017 Pizzicato



Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, May 2017

Assured Polish tenor Piotr Beczała gives a quite masterly performance in the principal role of Riccardo the fun loving governor of Boston who can’t take important matters seriously, infatuated with the wife of his loyal secretary Renato. …Harteros as the love-struck heroine Amelia tormented by remorse displayed her attractive soprano voice to glorious effect with winning amounts of expression. An affecting highlight is Amelia’s act three aria Morrò, ma prima in grazia, sung whilst sitting on the bed imploring Renato for forgiveness and pleading to see her son again. Quite stunning is the amount of drama Harteros generates whilst remaining so poised and accurate.

Well prepared by chorus master Sören Eckhoff, the Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper excel, [sounds] inspiring from start to finish. …Taking the baton, Zubin Mehta conducts the Bayerisches Staatsorchester with all the intelligence and passion we have come to expect from this experienced Verdian. This is a world class orchestra a collective that responds to Verdi’s writing with vibrant, frequently thrilling, playing.

Eminently enjoyable, this marvellous if underrated Verdi opera Un Ballo in maschera is compellingly performed with Piotr Beczała in masterly form. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Mike Ashman
Gramophone, May 2017

VERDI, G.: Ballo in maschera (Un) [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2016) (NTSC) 739408
VERDI, G.: Ballo in maschera (Un) [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) 739504

Musically things are more than fine. Beczała pulls off this one hell of a tenor role…with style and confidence. Harteros gives her usual tightly focused emotional performance. Petean is triumphantly consistent despite being faced with many of the production’s non-realistic situations in which to act. And with Maestro Mehta’s spacious tempos for his arias… With good sound and helpful shot selection the release is strongly recommended. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone





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