Muti Conducts Verdi Un ballo in maschera

Jun 23 - Jun 28, 2022


History supplied Verdi with the subject matter for this gripping drama. It is based on the true story of King Gustav III of Sweden, who was assassinated during a masked ball in 1792. Combining political intrigue, a love triangle and a fortune teller’s mysterious prophecy, the opera also contains radiant choral writing and richly scored dance music. Riccardo Muti leads a concert performance featuring a spectacular cast of international singers and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Ticket holders are invited to a free preconcert conversation featuring Derek Matson in Orchestra Hall 75 minutes before the performance. The conversation will last approximately 30 minutes. No additional tickets required.

Francesco Meli tenor (Riccardo)
Joyce El-Khoury soprano (Amelia)
Luca Salsi baritone (Renato)
Yulia Matochkina mezzo-soprano (Ulrica)
Damiana Mizzi soprano (Oscar)
Alfred Walker bass-baritone (Samuel)
Kevin Short bass-baritone (Tom)
Ricardo José Rivera baritone (Silvano)
Lunga Eric Hallam tenor (A Judge)
Aaron Short tenor (A Servant to Amelia)


Un ballo in maschera


These performances are generously sponsored by the Zell Family Foundation, the Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin Family Fund for the Canon, the Walter E. Heller Foundation, an anonymous donor, Julie and Roger Baskes, Marion A. Cameron-Gray, Julian Family Foundation, Ling Z. and Michael C. Markovitz, Chet Gougis and Shelley Ochab, Thomas Conner, Michael and Kathleen Elliott, Ann and John Grube, Mark and Gale Kozloff, Frank Modruson and Lynne Shigley, Gene and Jean Stark, Duane Quaini†, Mr. and Mrs. William C. Vance, David J. Varnerin, and Michael and Mary Woolever.

The appearance of the Chicago Symphony Chorus has been made possible by a generous gift from The Grainger Foundation, with additional support from Jim† and Kay Mabie.

Discover more on Experience CSO
In January, Riccardo Muti led a master class focusing on Verdi’s "Un ballo in maschera." "Lke my predecessors Barenboim and Solti," he said, "we believe in the importance of operas being played by symphony orchestras.”
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The Met's Donald Palumbo returns to Chicago, once his artistic home, to prepare the Chicago Symphony Chorus in "Un ballo in maschera," under Riccardo Muti. "I have such respect for him as a conductor," he says, "especially in Verdi."
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“When you sing in concert, you can think only about the music," says tenor Francesco Meli, who sings Riccardo in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, "and you are inside only the music."
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With its superheated passions, political intrigue and ultimate tragedy, Verdi’s "Un ballo in maschera" has been called “the most operatic of operas.” Here's a synopsis, along with audio and video samples of the work’s standout moments.
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Few if any musical figures have figured more prominently in the career of Italian tenor Francesco Meli than conductor Riccardo Muti, who "taught me the way to understand the Verdi repertoire.”
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Verdi's "Un ballo in maschera" was based on an actual political assassination. Abraham Lincoln attended the opera's U.S. premiere run in 1861. And the work factored into a civil rights milestone.
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New from Riccardo Muti

Written for the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth, Verdi, the Italian: In Music, Our Roots is a passionate homage to the music, genius and life of the great Italian composer penned by the “King of Verdi” (New York Times), Riccardo Muti. Coming soon to the Symphony Store.

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