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Un ballo in maschera

Giuseppe Verdi

Secret love, conspiracies, prophecies, envy, revenge … All the thrills and spills of Romantic opera!

The National Theatre
English surtitles
Historical topic

Basic information


The National Theatre

Approximate running time

2 hours 30 minutes, 1 intermission (20 minutes) minutes


In Italian, surtitles in Czech, English


October 5, 2017

A king falls in love with the wife of his best friend, who initially has no inkling and does his utmost to protect his master against plotters hatching a plan to murder the monarch. Yet this is a true romantic opera, in which fate holds sway. And fate loves irony. No prizes for guessing who ends up killing the king …


  • 2023-2024
  • 2024-2025


Musical preparation
Jaroslav Kyzlink
Stage director
Dominik Beneš
Sets and costumes
Marek Cpin
Movement coach
Béla Kéri Nagy
Chorus master
Pavel Vaněk
Beno Blachut


The National Theatre Chorus and Orchestra
Ballet of the National Theatre Opera

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 Antonio Somma’s 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.

Our current production is conducted by Jaroslav Kyzlink, the music director of the National Theatre Opera, who has recently shown his flair for Verdi’s work in the adaptations of his operas Simon Boccanegra and Don Carlo, performed at the National Theatre and the State Opera, respectively. The stage director Dominik Beneš, who has also created the National Theatre productions of the operas The Nightingale and Iolanta, invited Marek Cpin to design the sets and costumes.

Photo and video gallery


Practical information

Where to buy tickets

The National Theatre sells tickets up to 6 months in advance. We are currently selling tickets for performances of Drama, Ballet, Opera and Laterna magika taking place in April-September 2024.

When purchasing online, you can get an e-ticket. You can pick up printed tickets in person at the box offices of the National Theatre.

Parking at the National Theater

While visiting The National Theatre and the New Stage you can use again the underground car park of the National Theatre. Information and a parking fee.


What to wear?

By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.

Buffets at the National Theater

No waiting. For your benefit, please pre-order your food and beverages at the bar to minimize waiting in the queue!

Menu (PDF, 60 kB)