I think I have just found my favourite Un Ballo in Maschera
Un Ballo in Maschera is not my favourite Verdi or near his best. There is nothing wrong with the music or the characters, but like with a Verdi opera like Giovanna D'Arco for instance the story isn't always plausible. As much as I love the 1975 and 1980 productions, and I like the 1991 production too despite me not being entirely impressed by the acting, this is my favourite Ballo, as not only does Riccardo Muti do a superb job conducting but it is the only production I've seen yet where I didn't bother about the implausibilities of the story. The costume and set design are superb, and the video directing and sound complimenting it perfectly. When it comes to performances, all excel. Salvatore Licitra is more than convincing as Riccardo and Maria Guleghina is ravishing as Amelia, vocally and acting-wise. Cappuccilli is still my favourite Renato, but Bruno Caproni's performance is on point. There is also a very angelic and lyrical Oscar, but my personal favourite was Mariana Pentcheva in one of the more chilling and better portrayals of Ulrica I've seen. In conclusion, a wonderful production. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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