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Verdi - Un Ballo in Maschera (Teatro Real) (Sous-titres français) [Import]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Marcelo Alvarez, Violeta Urmana, Elena Zaremba, Jesus Lopez Cobos, Marco Vratogna
  • Directors: Mario Martone
  • Format: Classical, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: BBC / Opus Arte
  • Release Date: Feb. 23 2010
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B0030BK8YY
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa9c363e4) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaab28600) out of 5 stars Very enjoyable performance of a Verdi favorite. March 29 2010
By Susie L. Mclean - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've just received this new Ballo in Maschera DVD from a production at Teatro Real. I adore this opera and found everything you need in a wonderful production of it here:


Riccardo -- Marcelo Alvarez
Amelia -- Violeta Urmana
Renato -- Marco Vratogna
Ulrico -- Elena Zaremba
Oscar -- Alessandra Marianelli

Conducted by Jesus Lopez Cobos

This DVD delivers on so many levels. Marcelo Alvarez continues to impress as a Verdian tenor. Not only are his arias beautifully delivered, the Act II duet with Urmana is well-sung, and the vocal acting of both artists conveys the passion and internal conflict of these two characters.

Urmana is just about perfect as Amelia. Her voice sure fits the role.

I had never heard Vratogna before. In act one he begins as a squared-away military officer, loyal to his commander and I was afraid he would be too stoic, but not to fear. His demeanor begins to crumble with the taunting of the conspirators, and by the time he delivers "Eri tu" it's obvious he is a man destroyed by heartache, rage and humiliation -- but who still loves both his wife and his friend. Vratogna's baritone has the heft and poignancy necessary for this role -- I enjoyed his portrayal very much.

Zaremba's Ulrica is all it should be from an artist experienced in this role. Marianelli has a fine light soprano voice, and was entertaining as Oscar without being too cute.

Jesus Lopez Cobos conducts a vibrant performance from the Teatro Real forces, one of the best I've heard.

One quibble. This is the American version of the opera which is usually set in colonial times, but set in the 19th century instead, which makes references to Renato as a "Son of England" a bit incongruous. The lighting is also a bit dark. But it's not a Eurotrash production and doesn't interfere with the enjoyment of this DVD.

I recommend this for anyone who loves Ballo, Verdi, any of the singers, or is looking for an entertaining opera DVD. I believe you will agree that this DVD is well worth the price.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa99978dc) out of 5 stars The music speaks April 21 2010
By A. Lupu - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The greatest quality of this production and Blu-Ray disc is the music. Kudos to Martone and Lopez Cobos for letting the music do its work. Singers and orchestra perform beautifully. Anyone listening to this production will enjoy every single minute and the many arias Verdi gave us. The "conventional" staging helps the sense of the plot without distracting from the most important component, the music. The plot is awkward to start with. Verdi had to change it many times to satisfy the censors of his time. The initial plot was based on the assassination of Gustav III of Sweden, but ended being set in Boston prior to independence. In addition, Martone decided to move it to the 19 century so there is an American flag and the Count of Warwick on the same time-frame. A little bet of an anachronism, but it doesn't disturb the overall production, which is not about history but human passions, intrigue and unfulfilled love. Highly enjoyable.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa999c1a4) out of 5 stars Good old-fashioned Verdi opera June 3 2011
By Keris Nine - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
I'm always surprised that the likes of Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball), Stiffelio, Oberto and some other early to mid-period Verdi operas, are not better known and more frequently performed. Like those operas, Un Ballo in Maschera ("A Melodrama in 3 Acts") has the right balance and full complement of revolutionary plots, illicit liaisons, dire threats of revenge (what's a Verdi opera without an exclamation of "Vendetta!" somewhere in it?), blood-and-thunder rousing choruses and good old-fashioned belt-em-out crowd-pleasing melodies and arias. What it lacks in sophistication - certainly when compared to subsequent Verdi operas - it makes up for in the pure thrills, sensation and entertainment.

Perhaps surprisingly, the plot is at least loosely based on the real-life assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden. Un Ballo in Maschera is set however in America, where Riccardo, the Earl of Warwick is the English governor of Boston, Massachusetts, is being plotted against by conspirators, his death at the hand of a friend foretold by a fortune-teller. You don't need to be a fortune-teller however, just a familiarity with Verdi operas, to guess that his death will come to pass at the hands of his secretary and best friend Renato, since Riccardo has been seeing Renato's wife, Amelia in secret. That familiarity with opera conventions will also serve you well as far as swallowing other expositional elements of the plot and the dialogue. "Heavens, my husband!", exclaims Amelia, when the two secret lovers are in danger of being discovered, and when Renato does start plotting with the conspirators to carry out the deed ("Vendetta!") at the convenient occasion of a masked ball, the skulk around whispering a secret password so that they can recognise one another. The secret password? "Death!", of course.

Un Ballo in Maschera is consequently not the kind of opera for modern updating or interpretation, it's firmly tied into the opera tradition of the period, and accordingly, this production from the Teatro Real in Madrid is a very conservative affair, a period production with stand-and-deliver performances in the Grand Opera tradition. It's hard to put any real dramatic feeling behind this kind of a plot, what it really needs is a strong bravura performance to carry it through, and that's what you get with Marcelo Álvarez as Riccardo. There's no real acting ability here, Álvarez conveying everything by striking standard opera poses with his arms, but the Madrid audience just laps it up. The other singers similarly fit into this old-fashioned style, delivering a by-the-book production that alone would be good enough, but it helps when the performances are committed and that's certainly the case here.

This 2008 production at the Teatro Real looks rather dark, which leads to strong contrasts in the Blu-ray HD presentation, but the image is sharp and deeply saturated. The audio tracks - LPCM Stereo and HD Master Audio 5.1 - are both superb in their clarity and dynamic range. Other than a Synopsis and Cast, there are no extra features on the BD.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa9caf288) out of 5 stars Amazing how the emotion works... March 4 2013
By Bob North - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I love the disc. I had been waiting a long time for a more perfect video recording of this opera. A long, long time ago there was a black & white TV version from Sweden that was my first exposure. I would love to see that again. -Technology on this new one is very good, singing is great. Style is perfect. It is the story... but the long scene in the junk heap... you want to get out of there. The music is so rewarding. Lots of emotional acting here. It worked on me. Several cries of delight from the audience. Yeah, me too. Great pleasure. I want to see it again... just a day later.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa999c138) out of 5 stars Thoroughly recommended for Verdi lovers Sept. 4 2011
By Mr. John A. Coulson - Published on
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Verdi's "Un Ballo in Maschera" is one of his lesser known operas and does not contain often performed arias like those in "La Traviata" etc. And, in common with most operas the story line is utterly improbable, even up to the point of being nearly as ridiculous as that in "Il Travatore". That said, it is a tribute to Verdi's mastery of drama and music (and the artists in this production) that this contrived story ultimately becomes utterly engrossing. Act 1 is nice enough, Act 2 becomes more dramatic and Act 3 is a showstopper.

The audio quality via PCM 5.1 is first rate, complementing the excellent playing and singing of the Madrid Chorus & Orchestra conducted by Jesus Lopez Cobos. The two lead singers, Marcelo Alvarez and Violeta Urmana were unknown to us but their singing was glorious and backed up by other impressive artists. Elena Zarmba capably sung the role of Ulrico, the fortuneteller, but although her voice was suited to the role in timbre etc, she lacked power in that voice to be as convincing as possible so was a minor disappointment.

The settings were traditional and appropriate but the occasional reference to America in the libretto seemed totally out of place. The historical reason for that is originally Verdi encountered public outrage when his storyline centred around the real life assassination of Sweden's King Gustav III. The opera ran into such heavy censorial opposition that Verdi ended up suing the original theatre for whom the piece was originally written. What the libretto illustrated was just not politically correct involving as it did, regicide as subject matter. The legal suit was never pursued to the end and the compromise was to reset the locale to Boston and demote the King to that of Count.

Bottom line is that this Blu Ray production is a very worthwhile addition to the library. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would expect all Verdi opera lovers to do likewise.