Verdi's

Un Ballo in Maschera

July 2017

This season's production

Winslow Hall Opera will stage 6 performances of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera from the 7th through to the 16th July 2017

The performances will take place on:

  • Friday 7th July at 6pm
  • Sunday 9th July at 3pm
  • Tuesday 11th July at 6pm
  • Thursday 13th July at 6pm
  • Saturday 15th July at 5pm
  • Sunday 16th July at 3pm

For all of the evening performances there will be an 85 minute supper interval, while the interval for the 3.00 pm Sunday matinees will be 30 minutes. However, the gardens of the Hall will be open from noon on the Sundays, for those who would like to picnic before the opera.

Oliver Gilmour, having conducted Lucia di Lammermoor, La Traviata and Don Giovanni for Winslow Hall Opera in the last 3 years, will be taking up the baton again this year.

We are also delighted that Carmen Jakobi who directed our Don Giovanni to great acclaim last year, will be returning in her directorial capacity for Un ballo in 2017.

Her Opera productions include Tristan und Isolde for Longborough Festival Opera, John Harbison’s Full Moon in March, the world premiere of Nicola LeFanu’s Dream Hunter in Wales and London, and Monteverdi’s Orfeo for the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Oliver has assembled a fabulous cast, including Tsvetana Bandalovska as Amelia, Stephen Aviss as Riccardo, Vasile Chisiu (“outstanding” in our 2014 Lucia) as Renato, Caroline Kennedy as Oscar, and the legendary Rosalind Plowright as Ulrica, most recently featured on the front cover page of Opera Magazine.

Carmen has brought together an incredible Creative team of Designer Jacob Hughes, Costume Designer Penny Latter, Lighting Designer Matt Carter, and Choreographer Caroline Lamb.

Collage of Un Ballo in Maschera at Winslow Hall

Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball) is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi with the libretto by Antonio Somma, which was itself based on the five act libretto by the playwright Eugène Scribe

Scribe wrote about the assassination in 1792 of King Gustav III of Sweden who was killed as the result of a political conspiracy against him. He was shot while attending a masked ballroom dance and died 13 days later of his wounds.

The premiere took place at the Teatro Apollo in Rome on 17 February 1859, but in order for it to become the Un Ballo in Maschera which we know today, Verdi's opera (and his libretto) was forced to undergo a significant series of transformations and title changes.

These changes were caused by a combination of censorship regulations in both Naples and Rome, as the censors would not allow showing the murder of a crowned head of state. It became one of the most frustrating experiences of Verdi's career.