For The Register-Herald
The Met: Live in HD will bring the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of “Un Ballo in Maschera” to Greenbrier Valley Theatre at 12:55 p.m. Friday.
Perhaps Giuseppi Verdi’s most controversial opera, “Ballo” took as the basis for its plot the actual assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden, at a masked ball — with regicide a less than welcome topic in 19th-century Italy. Also, it was composed in an unusual style that prefigured surrealism.
In its review of the opera’s premiere on Thanksgiving, the New York Times rated the principal singers highly, in particular Marcelo Alvarez as Gustavo, “dramatically charged and refined”’ soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as Amelia, whose “earthy texture and quick vibrato … shimmers with emotion”; and Dmitri Hvo-rostovsky, the “charismatic baritone,” as her husband.
Prior to the opera presentation, a discussion of the piece and its place in musical/cultural history led by James Caplinger will be featured. Lunch during the discussion is available if reserved 24 hours in advance.
Greenbrier Valley Theatre is at 113 E. Washington St. in Lewisburg. For reservations, contact the box office at 304-645-3838 or reserve online at www.gvtheatre.org.