By Burton D. Fisher
A handy and finished pocket-sized advisor to Verdi's A MASKED BALL inclusive of the tale SYNOPSIS, imperative CHARACTERS within the opera, tale NARRATIVE with ONE-BAR tune spotlight EXAMPLES, and an ESSAY delivering historical past in regards to the opera and its composer, research, and insighful statement.
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Extra resources for A Masked Ball: Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series
The somber mood quickly changes when the incognito Gustav receives Ulrica’s fatal prediction, the king immediately relieving the tension by laughing away her prophesy: È scherzo od è follia. ” 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.
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. In the final act of A Masked Ball, the king finally realizes that he must surrender to reason and his higher duty, placing his higher responsibilities before personal happiness and selfishness by recognizing that continuation of his obsession with Amelia can only lead to dishonor and shame.
Ulrica dutifully prescribes the antidote as Amelia prays for strength; Gustav joining them and vowing that to comfort Amelia, he would gladly cede the throne. The somber mood quickly changes when the incognito Gustav receives Ulrica’s fatal prediction, the king immediately relieving the tension by laughing away her prophesy: È scherzo od è follia. ” 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.