Opera på Skäret is now starting up again after the pandemic with Verdi’s opera Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball).There will be 12 shows of Un Ballo in Maschera between 30th July and 28th August 2022.
– After two cancelled seasons, we would like to celebrate our return with the best the opera art has to offer – a masterpiece by Verdi. And of course, we are going to do it the way Verdi intended, with the murder of King Gustav III as the main event in the drama, says Alexander Niclasson, Artistic Director.
Giuseppe Verdi based his great materpeice Un Ballo in Maschera on a libretto written about the murder of King Gustav III in1792. But after resistance from the Italian censorship- which at these uncertain times in Europe didn’t permit an assassination of a king in the script– was rewritten, and Gustav III was replaced by an American Count.
The opera was premiered in Rome in1859 and had its Swedish premier at Stockholmsoperan in1927. In a new Swedish translation by Erik Lindegren from 1958, the location of the storyline was once again changed back to the Swedish Royal Castle, however the real murderer Anckarström was changed to a fictitious character called Count Holberg. The opera was played for a period of over twenty years, and the tenor Ragnar Ulfung became known worldwide due to his performance as Gustav III.
The last few decades, Un Ballo in Mashera has been played in many different versions in Sweden, often sung in Swedish. Opera på Skäret’s version will be with Gustav III in focus, and the storyline takes place is the Swedish Royal Court. A ”Swedish” opera by Verdi – but sung in Italian!
As always, Opera på Skäret will- according to the artistic direction of the opera house- perform the opera in its original language (with the text translated to Swedish on screen), which gives us the opportunity to showcase distinguished soloists from all over the world.
– Un Ballo in Maschera contains many arias that are very difficult to sing, which requires extremely skillful singers in all the different roles, says Alexander Niclasson.
In preparation for next year‘s performances, we are planning to hold auditions this winter, and singers from all over the world are invited. For our latest opera, The Magic Flute in 2019, over 200 singers from twenty different countries attended the auditions for Opera på Skäret.
– With this work approach, we can guarantee to get singers of the highest class each year. We are not just going for well known singers, but we are always striving to find the absolute best voices for our operas. So as all previous years, we are looking forward to introducing some amazing singers to the Swedish audience, says Alexander Niclasson.
The Swedish Chamber Orchestra will once again take their place in the Orchestra pit, this time led by the Italian conductor Lorenzo Coladonato. It is thanks to the continued collaboration between Opera på Skäret and Länsmusiken in Örebro, that the audience in Bergslagen has the opportunity to enjoy the sound of this wonderful orchestra of the highest international class. The orchestra is based in Örebro, but is regularly touring around the world playing some of the greatest opera stages.
– We are very proud of our continued collaboration with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, and it is a great privilege for us and the audience that they play regularly at Opera på Skäret. A big thank you goes out to our politicians, both regional and national, for this privilege, says Alexander Niclasson.
For two summers in a row, Opera på Skäret has been forced to cancel all the scheduled shows of Puccini’s Turandot. This opera will now be played at a later date, in the coming seasons. Opera på Skäret’s latest show was The Magic Flute in 2019, which was seen by10 600 people, and was critically acclaimed by both audiences and critics.