by David Cohen
With an amazing all American team this production of A Masked Ball at the Chicago Lyric Opera is a winner. The set design and costumes are traditionally dressed the way intended by its composer Giuseppe Verdi, A Masked Ball is an opera-goer dream come true!
With a powerful voice, tenor Frank Lopardo sings the role of Gustavo the King, who is in love with his best friend’s wife Amelia. American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky stunningly singing the role of Amelia is the audience’s delight. She remarkably captivates the audience with her pain, agony and her passionate love to the king.
Desperately trying to end her love and feelings to the king, Amelia turns to a sorceress-fortune teller Ulrica for help — but too late! In her Lyric debut Stephanie Blythe as Ulrica is outstanding. She is for sure someone we need to watch in the future. She is simply a perfect match for this roll.
Korean-American soprano Kathleen Kim is delightful choice for the roll of Oscar. Her stature and playful presence as the court page is fresh and dynamic and only add to her angelic voice.
In preparation for the ball–what a perfect set of glitz and glamour for the holiday season, the secret gets out. Every body knows about the love triangle. Baritone Mark Delvan as the devastated husband Renato, takes his revenge at the Ball!
While listening to the ‘teco io sto’ duet ‘ma se m’e forza perferti’ aria sang by Lopardo and ‘eri tu’ sang by Delvan, I have realized that I‘m witnessing one of the most remarkable moments in opera history.
Directed by Renata Scotto, who previously sang the role of Amelia side Pavaroty in the 80′s, is the eyes and the hart behind the seances. With her skills and experience, she delivers one of the best productions I have ever seen at the Lyric, and transfer every element in this production into a brilliant masterpiece. BRAVO! There are only three words left for me to say, GO SEE IT! For more information visit www.lyricopera.org.