(Opera-lovers should note that the date of streaming has changed, as a response to #BlackOutTuesday. #BlackOutTuesday is a musicians' protest at the death in the US of George Floyd. The streaming was originally scheduled for Tuesday 2 June.)
Verdi's grand opera Un Ballo in Maschera was staged in captivating style in a five-star production that showed the company at its best. Characterful soloists, seamless chorus work, smart design and a sense of what the opera tells us today made this classic in the repertoire really sing.
In Verdi's own day, the story of Un Ballo in Maschera was set in Sweden, then transplanted to Boston, Massachusetts, because censors considered it ran too close to the wind politically in his native Italy. It is, in short, an adaptable piece that in this production inhabits the buttoned-up 1940s world of Brief Encounter.
A wife battles with her attraction to another man. But in Un Ballo her secret tryst is discovered, with deadly results.
Alison Langer (centre) as Oscar gets the party started in Un Ballo in Maschera. Photo: Ali Wright
Panelled walls by set and costume designer takis hide and reveal conspirators in the production by Rodula Gaitanou that bowls along with the easy-going enjoyment of a country house party until matters turn nasty.
Anne Sophie Duprels sings Amelia, with Matteo Preti as admirer Gustavo. But look out too for great performances in smaller roles. John Savourin is a sinister conspirator, and Alison Langer gives a showstopping performance as the master of ceremonies Oscar, the androgynous major domo devoted to Gustavo.
Matthew Kofi Waldren, who has a real gift for Italian music, conducts the City of London Sinfonia.
Whether you are already an OHP groupie or a newcomer to this amazing London-based company, you are in for a treat.
Un Ballo in Maschera is streamed only at 7:30PM on Weds 3 June – in the week that OHP 2020 would have opened
|What||Un Ballo in Maschera, Opera Holland Park online|
|Where||Online | MAP|
On 03 Jun 20, NOTE CHANGE OF DATE, from Tues 2 June. One-off streaming
|Website||Click here for more information|