Great Performances: Verdi’s ‘Un Ballo in Maschera’ (1991)

Scene from a Metropolitan Opera performance of "Un Ballo in Maschera" in 1991.(Photo: Metropolitan Opera)
Scene from a Metropolitan Opera performance of "Un Ballo in Maschera" in 1991.(Photo: Metropolitan Opera)

I listened to this clip from a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera at the New York’s Metropolitan Opera from 1991 and thought: we can’t reproduce this cast today.

We can come close, but for full-throated, all-out Verdi singing, you have to go back twenty years.

By “Verdi singing,” I mean power, tonal beauty, phrasing, and a love for the music and the text that is palpable for the audience.

In this video performance, Aprile Millo and Luciano Pavarotti show us how it’s done. He’s nel cielo (“in heaven”) now and she doesn’t sing so much any more. I’m sorry to say.

But when it was good, it was glorious. God bless them both, and God bless Verdi.

Comments