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Un Ballo in Maschera
Deutsche Oper Berlin
Seth Mease Carico: Conte Ribbing
King Gustav III holds his morning audience as if it were a theatre performance. His page, Oscar, hands the King the list of guests expected at the imminent masked ball. Gustav discovers the name of Amelia, who is the wife of his best friend René Anckarström and the woman he secretly loves. A conspiracy against the King is being hatched. René warns him but the King underestimates the danger. Even the prophecy of soothsayer Ulrica, who foretells that the person who first offers him his hand will end up killing him, is ignored by the King as it is his good friend, René Anckarström, who greets him in this manner. When Gustav and Amelia confess their love on the execution site, René unexpectedly appears, warning his friend the King yet again. He swaps coats with the King to enable him to flee and promises to escort the veiled stranger back to the city. The conspirators appear and attack the supposed King, who reveals his identity. His wife Amelia throws herself between the combatants and drops her veil. Mocked as a betrayed husband, René wishes to join the conspirators. When the page, Oscar, arrives with the King’s invitation to the masked ball, he decides to transform the ball into a dance of death for Gustav. Unbeknown to him, the King has already decided to renounce his love and follow the path of duty and honour. On taking leave of Amelia he is shot dead by René.