By Burton D. Fisher
A handy and complete pocket-sized consultant to Verdi's A MASKED BALL along with the tale SYNOPSIS, valuable CHARACTERS within the opera, tale NARRATIVE with ONE-BAR song spotlight EXAMPLES, and an ESSAY supplying heritage concerning the opera and its composer, research, and insighful observation.
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Extra info for A Masked Ball: Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series
Reluctant and with obvious hesitation, he signs the paper sending Anckarström and Amelia to Finland as diplomatic envoys. At the masked ball, there is a dramatic moment of unmasking. Amelia finds Gustav, admitting to him that she wrote the anonymous letter trying to convince him that his life was in jeopardy, and that he should not attend the ball. ” At that moment, both Gustav and Amelia remove their masks, the king passionately telling her that “You are my life, my only desire. ” Heartbroken, Gustav tells her that they he has ordered them to Finland, and then bids Amelia farewell: Anco una volta addio, l’ultima volta addio, “Again one last time farewell, the last farewell,” and then both their last Addio.
In Act II, Gustav meets Amelia at the ominous execution fields outside Stockholm where she has gone to find the curative herb. ” Amelia, equally unable to control herself, surrenders, confessing that she indeed loves the king. The lovers explode into ecstatic rapture: O qual soave brivido, “Oh. ” Gustav and Amelia have become victims of their uncontrollable yearnings and desires, both admitting that they are acting with moral weakness; both failing to control their passions; and both defying conscience and reason.
His discovery of betrayal casts a dark shadow over his life: he becomes vindictive and vengeful man, his love for both wife and king transforming into hate and retribution. A Masked Ball Page 31 Verdi exploits Amckarström’s anguish in one of the most dramatic moments in the opera: his Act III aria, Eri tu, “It is you who have stained my soul,” Anckarström’s crossover into darkness. Anckarström, bewildered and tormented, is overcome by passions that compel him toward mortal revenge against his king and former friend: he explodes into deadly passion with outbursts expressing the dark side of hatred, while at the same time, looking back nostalgically towards the light of a loving friendship.
A Masked Ball: Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series by Burton D. Fisher