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NCPA to stage Verdi's classic

By Chen Nan (China Daily)    09:37, May 22, 2017

Chinese soprano Sun Xiuwei (left) rehearses for Un Ballo in Maschera. [Photo provided to China Daily]

When the National Center for the Performing Arts produced Giuseppe Verdi's opera Un Ballo in Maschera in 2012, a team headed by veteran Argentine director Hugo De Ana took the audience into a theatrical space, which was filled with sets from the time of King Gustav III of Sweden in the 18th century.

Based on the story of the assassination of the king in 1792, the opera is about his secret love for Amelia, the wife of the king's chief of staff Renato.

Now, five years later, the NCPA will stage this classic opera from May 24 to 28, as part of the NCPA Opera Festival 2017.

Un Ballo in Maschera is the third NCPA production of Verdi's operas-the first two being La Traviata and Rigoletto.

Italian conductor Renato Palumbo, who conducted the opera Norma produced by the NCPA in 2014, will lead the China NCPA Chorus and China NCPA Orchestra at the opera.

The cast will see Chinese and Western artists, including Chinese soprano Sun Xiuwei, soprano Barbara Haveman from the Netherlands, Italian baritone Ernesto Petti and Russian baritone Sergey Murzaev.

One of the most famous scenes in the opera is the third act, in which the king is killed at a dancing party.

"All the characters perform in the scene and the emotion is intense," says director Alessandra Panzavolta.

Panzavolta, who studied classic and modern dance at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, is also a choreographer, who focuses on the physical movements of the characters in the opera.

"Everyone has to look around to find people because they all wear masks. It requires lots of movements and action," says Panzavolta, who has been working with the NCPA since 2013.

Speaking about her role, veteran soprano Sun, who has performed in NCPA productions such as Turandot, Macbeth and Tosca, says: "Un Ballo in Maschera, La forza del destino and Don Carlo are the three major masterpieces created by Verdi in his midlife. But Un Ballo in Maschera is my favorite because it has many classical arias."

If you go

7:30 pm, Wednesday-Sun-day. National Center for the Performing Arts, 2 West Chang'an Avenue, Xicheng district, Beijing. 010-6655-0000.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hu Ximeng, Bianji)

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