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News & Reviews - Press Reviews - Un Ballo in Maschera – Bachtrack ****

ROB COLES IFORD ARTS UN BALLO (23)Un ballo in maschera is one of Verdi’s classic audience treats, a mixture of brilliant love and menacing darkness shot through with (often the bitterest) comedy. Like RigolettoBallo sees the course of true love punished by confusion, suspicion and betrayal: our hero Riccardo is passionately and disastrously in love with his best friend Renato’s wife, Amelia, and although they never actually transgress their positions (as best friend and wife) in any meaningful way, the opera ends violently with Riccardo dead, Renato aghast and Amelia’s marriage almost certainly destroyed. Sung in beautifully clear English, Timothy Nelson’s small-scale production for Iford pulls the audience right inside Verdi’s vortex of emotions which keeps Ballo so gripping from beginning to end.

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