By Burton D. Fisher
A handy and accomplished pocket-sized advisor to Verdi's A MASKED BALL which include the tale SYNOPSIS, crucial CHARACTERS within the opera, tale NARRATIVE with ONE-BAR tune spotlight EXAMPLES, and an ESSAY delivering heritage in regards to the opera and its composer, research, and insighful observation.
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Additional resources for A Masked Ball: Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series
In death, his enemies, as well as his loyal friends and subjects, grieved for the man they deeply loved. ” Gustav became the tragic victim of his passions overcoming reason; the real victim of the drama, the nobility of love.
The dying Gustav dissuades them from their thirst for death and vengeance. He urges Anckarström near him, and assures him before God of Amelia’s fidelity, admitting that he loved her, but never stained her name; he presents Anckarström with his promotion as envoy to Finland, and pardons Anckarström and all the conspirators. ” During this final moment of A Masked Ball, Gustav assumed his final disguise: the tragic hero of the drama was unmasked. Gustav revealed his inner soul: he was a paradoxical man torn between love and duty, a leader who found it easier to control potentially dangerous political situations than to control his own instinctive desires.
But Anckarström becomes transformed by uncontrollable events that awaken him to menace and danger. His discovery of betrayal casts a dark shadow over his life: he becomes vindictive and vengeful man, his love for both wife and king transforming into hate and retribution. A Masked Ball Page 31 Verdi exploits Amckarström’s anguish in one of the most dramatic moments in the opera: his Act III aria, Eri tu, “It is you who have stained my soul,” Anckarström’s crossover into darkness. 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.