I like Verdi's opera Un Ballo in Maschera a lot, the story is implausible, but the characters do engage and the music is sublime, I can listen to Eri Tu over and over and never get tired of it. I have seen various productions and at the moment my favourites are the 1975 and 1980 productions. This 2005 one is my least favourite but I did like it. The costume and set design are exquisite, as are the photography and sound. The Chorus are terrific, as are the orchestra and the conducting I have little to fault either. The singing from all the principles also impress, especially Amelia and Oscar. The production however occasionally plods particularly towards the end of Act 2, and the acting is not as convincing as the singing, excepting Renato and Amelia. Ulrica was the biggest disappointment for me, good voice but uncompelling. All in all, good albeit not great. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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