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2 hours 30 minutes, 1 intermission 20 minutesLanguage
In Italian, subtitles in Czech, EnglishPremiere
October 5, 2017
A splendid creative team promises a visually impressive experience.
The National Theatre Chorus and Orchestra
Ballet of the National Theatre Opera
The production was staged by the music director of the National Theatre Opera, Jaroslav Kyzlink, who has recently shown his flair for Verdi’s work in the productions of his operas Simon Boccanegra and Don Carlo, performed at the National Theatre and the State Opera, respectively. Dominik Beneš, who has directed the National Theatre productions of the operas The Nightingale and Iolanta, has invited Marek Cpin to design the sets and costumes. The getting together of such a splendid creative team promises a visually impressive experience.
Verdi often found inspiration for his operas in the works of renowned writers and dramatists, including Shakespeare, Schiller, Hugo and Eugène Scribe, one of the most distinguished 19th-century playwrights. Scribe penned the libretto for Les vêpres siciliennes, and his text for Daniel Auber’s French opera Gustave III, ou Le bal masqué served as the basis for the libretto to Verdi’s new operatic drama, which would enter history under the title Un ballo in maschera.The circumstances under which the opera came into being and was staged were affected by political events and subsequent censorship, as a result of which Verdi and his librettist had to change the piece’s original title, Gustavo III, as well as the names of the characters, the setting and the time. Accordingly, the King of Sweden, an ardent theatre lover, became the English governor in Boston etc. In this transformed version, the opera Un ballo in maschera received its premiere on 17 February 1859, at the Teatro Apollo in Rome. A Prague audience first saw the piece on 1 August 1866, in German translation, at the Estates Theatre, and on 30 June 1869, the opera was performed in Czech translation at the New Town Theatre by the Provisional Theatre company, whose production was taken over by the National Theatre and presented in June 1884.
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