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Ballo in Maschera, Un

Ballo in Maschera, Un (A Masked Ball). Opera in 3 acts by Verdi to lib. by Somma based on Scribe's lib. for Auber's Gustave III ou Le Bal masqué. Comp. 1857–8. Prod. Rome 1859, NY and London 1861, NY Met 1869. Events of the opera are based on assassination of King Gustavus III of Sweden in 1792. The Naples censor forbade regicide on the opera stage and ordered Verdi to adapt his mus. to a new lib. He refused, but Rome agreed to stage the opera if the locale was moved outside Europe. Verdi and Somma thereupon changed Sweden to Boston, Mass., before the War of Independence. In Copenhagen 1935 (and at CG 1952) the action was replaced in Sweden and the characters resumed their orig. (and historical) names. These, with the Boston version equivalents in brackets, are: Gustavus ( Riccardo, Earl of Warwick); Count Anckarstroem ( Renato); Mme Arvidson ( Ulrica); Count Ribbing ( Samuel); Count Horn ( Tom). Only the heroine, Amelia, and the page Oscar were unaffected by the change. Other operas on this subject are Auber's Gustave III (Paris 1833), Gabussi's Clemenza di Valois (Venice 1841), and Mercadante's Il reggente (Turin 1843).

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