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DETROIT – The Michigan Opera Theatre opens its 2003-04 Season of Love with the company premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s dramatic tale of fatal love, “A Masked Ball.” The long-awaited production of “A Masked Ball” is scheduled for six performances, Oct. 18-26, at the Detroit Opera House.
Giuseppe Verdi proves love can be deadly in this lavish tale of desire set in 18th Century Sweden. Gustavo may rule his kingdom, but it is Amelia, his best friend and loyal secretary’s wife, who rules his heart. Amelia a1so harbors feelings for Gustavo – a fact, by chance, revealed to her husband. Remito. Hell bent on vengeance, Renato joins a group of conspirators plotting both the demise of Gustavo and the end of an illicit love – a love that proves fatal at a grand masked ball as a fortune teller’s prophecy is fulfilled. Set against a climate of political intrigue, and replete with beautiful arias, “Un Ballo in Maschera,” or “A Masked Ball,” is regarded as one of the great Verdi masterpieces.
Michigan Opera Theatre’s premiere of “A Masked Ball” will be staged by veteran Mario Corradi; “A Masked Ball” marks Mr. Corradi’s 12th production for the company. The ever-popular and charismatic maestro, Steven Mercurio, returns to conduct the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra, after conducting the 2003 production of “Don Giovanni.” Polish Contralto Eva Podld makes her much-anticipated company debut as the fortuneteller Ulrica. Tenor Eduardo Villa (Otello in MOT’s 2002 production of “Otello”) returns as Riccardo. Marc Heller makes his MOT debut, alternating in the role of Riccardo. Bulgarian soprano Mariana Zvetkova and Argentinean soprano Fabiana Bravo make their MOT debuts as Amelia, the king’s secret love. Baritone C.Y. Liao (Count di Luna in MOT’s 2003 production of “Il Trovatore”) alternates with newcomer Lester Lynch as Renato. Michigan native Anita Johnson makes her MOT debut as Oscar.
Subscriptions for the Michigan Opera Theatre’s 2003-2004 Season are still available. Single tickets for “A Masked Ball” range in price from $23 – $110, and are available at the Detroit Opera House Box Office or any TicketMaster Outlet. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.michiganopera.org. Charge-by-phone tickets may be obtained by calling 313-237-SING or the TicketMaster chargeline at 248-645-6666.