Join us for a live broadcast of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ballroom Dance), conducted by Met Music Director James Levine. This is Maestro Levine's first network broadcast of this opera since 1997. Piotr Beczala makes a network role debut as the self-destructive King Gustavo III of Sweden, opposite Sondra Radvanovsky as Amelia, the woman he loves. Dmitri Hvorostovsky is Anckarström, Gustavo’s friend and Amelia’s husband; Dolora Zajick is Ulrica, the fortune-teller who predicts the king’s murder; and Heidi Stober is the pageboy Oscar. Listen on Saturday, May 2, 1 to 4:20 pm on WRTI.
James Levine conducted 25 Met performances of Un Ballo in Maschera between 1990 and 1997. Also this spring, he conducts a rare revival of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress (which will broadcast on May 9). Over the course of his 44-year career at the Met, he has led over 2,450 performances, more than any other conductor in the company’s history.
Earlier this season, tenor Piotr Beczala starred as Count Vaudémont in the Met premiere of Tchaikovsky's Iolanta. He has sung the role of Gustavo at Zurich Opera and Santa Fe Opera, and will perform it with the Bavarian State Opera next season.
Sondra Radvanovsky has appeared as Amelia at La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, and made her Met role debut in the premiere of the current production, by David Alden. In the Met’s 2015-16 season, she will become the first singer in the company’s history to star in all three of Donizetti’s "Tudor queen" operas, performing the leading roles in Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and Roberto Devereux over the course of the season.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky sang Anckarström at the Met in 2007 and 2012 as well as earlier this season at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Earlier this spring, he was Rodrigo in Verdi's Don Carlo at the Met, broadcast on April 11. Next season, he will reprise the role of Count di Luna, with Anna Netrebko as Leonora.
Mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick has performed the role of Ulrica with San Francisco Opera, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, and at the Met in 1995 and 2012. She has sung 230 Met performances of nine roles. She will reprise Azucena, the role of her 1988 Met debut, in a revival of Il Trovatore this fall.
Soprano Heidi Stober has sung Oscar with San Francisco Opera and Deutsche Opera Berlin. She made her Met debut in 2011 as Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, a role she repeated with the company earlier this season.
The intermissions will include backstage interviews and the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera Quiz, with special guest, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham.