Register Your Cart


Un ballo in maschera

opera in three acts
music by Giuseppe Verdi

3 hours 25 minutes
two intervals
itperformed in Italian (with Russian surtitles)
12+for viewers over 12 years old
Un ballo in maschera
Gustav — Fyodor Ataskevich
Renato — Dmitry Darov
Amelia — Maria Litke
Ulrica — Olesya Petrova

Conductor — Mikhail Tatarnikov
Libretto by Antonio Somma and Francesco Maria Piave after the play Gustave III by Eugène Scribe

Musical Director of the production: Peter Feranec
Stage Director: Andrejs Žagars
Stage Designer: Andris Freibergs
Costume Designer: Kristine Pasternaka
Costume Technology: Alla Marusina
Lighting Designer: Kevin W. Jones
Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Chorus: Vladimir Stolpovskikh
Choreography: Elita Bukowska
Assistant to Stage Director: Dace Wohlfahrte
Assistant to Stage Designer: Elena Zykova
Director: Yulia Prokhorova
Assistant to Director: Vyacheslav Kalyuzhny
Principal Pianist: Marc Vayner
Chorus Masters: Alexey Dmitriev, Sergey Tsyplenkov
Rehearsal Conductor: Andrey Velikanov
Music Style and Language Répétiteur: Paolo Di Napoli
Consultant in the Italian language: Daria Mitrofanova
Surtitles: Margarita Kunitsyna-Tankevich
Stage Manager: Olga Kokh

Sets and costumes produced at the Vozrozhdenie Theatrical Design Studios

Premiere of the production: 21 July 2010

Un ballo in maschera is one of Giuseppe Verdi’s crowning achievements. The opera is distinguished by the beauty of its vocal parts, the expressiveness of its ensemble singing, the brilliance of the orchestration, and by what Russian theatre historians often call ’Shakespearian might’. Verdi has constructed a musical drama around a series of contrasting moods, leavened the mysterious and gloomy scenes with a light lyricism, and framed the tragic denouement in the energetic gaiety of a costumed ball.

At the heart of the fable is a story of political conspiracy which gets mixed up with personal revenge. Since the opera’s libretto had to undergo a series of rewritings due to censorship, today’s producers are at liberty to choose the time and place in which the opera takes place, in keeping with their own artistic concept. In the Mikhailovsky Theatre production, we see a story of the turn of the century: at the start of the 20th century, empires crumbled, and a familiar way of life disappeared together with them.


Scene 1
A hall in the palace of King Gustav. The morning audience starts: Oscar the page hands the King a guest list for the upcoming masked ball. The name of Amelia on the list reminds him of his love for her. However, Gustav hides his love as she is married to his best friend and secretary, Renato.
As the courtiers disperse, Renato enters to warn Gustav of plots against his life led by two aristocrats, Tom and Samuel.
Credulous Gustav plays down the plot. He knows no fear.
Next to appear is a judge who produces petitions to be solved. He requests that Gustav exile Ulrica, a fortune-teller suspected of supernatural practices. The accuse makes the King curious and Gustav decides that he and his followers will disguise themselves and pay a personal call on Ulrica.

Scene 2
Ulrica’s dwelling. The fortune-teller is surrounded by a crowd of people. Disguised as a fisherman, Gustav hides in the shadow and listens to the story of Silvano, a sailor. He has served the King and has taken part in many sea battles. Now he asks Ulrica to divine his future. Ulrica predicts wealth and a commission, something that Gustav promptly brings to pass by secreting gold and the appropriate papers in Silvano’s bag. Silvano discovers his new-found wealth and all join in praise of Ulrica. The King enjoys Silvano’s happiness and people’s astonishment.
They are interrupted by a newcomer arrived who requests for his mistress an interview with Ulrica. Ulrica dismisses the crowd; but Gustav, who has recognized Amelia’s servant, remains in his hiding place as Amelia comes in.
Amelia asks Ulrica to rid her of the forbidden love that torments her. The King is happy to hear that Amelia’s secret love is himself. Ulrica agrees to help the woman in love and tells her of a herb that grows in the gallows-field and must be picked by Amelia at night. Amelia prays that she may be healed and Gustav, still hidden, vows to follow her on her quest.
As Amelia departs, Ulrica’s dwelling is filled with Gustav’s entourage. Gustav is the first to ask for his fortune but Ulrica refuses to tell. When Ulrica warns of imminent death at the hands of the man who first shakes his hand, Gustav laughs it off. He offers his friends to shake hands but everybody refuses: even Tom and Samuel are afraid that they will be suspected before they’re ready for the plot.
The prophecy is seemingly made absurd by the faithful Renato who hurries on soon after and immediately clasps his master’s hand.
A crowd led by Silvano returns to Ulrica’s dwelling: he has told everybody of his luck and now is looking for the benefactor. The people honor the King.


Scene 3
At night Amelia arrives at the gallows to pluck the herb. Gustav who has secretly followed her appears and confesses her love. Renato arrives to warn the King that conspirators are closing in. Amelia veils herself at her husband’s approach. Renato and Gustav exchange cloaks to mislead the conspirators. Renato persuades the King to escape immediately but firsthand Gustav asks Renato to escort the veiled lady back to the city. But they are waylaid by the conspirators who find out that they have caught the secretary instead of the King. They decide to amuse themselves by seeing the face of the mysterious woman. When it becomes clear that Renato, in his loyalty to the Count, will fight rather than permit this, Amelia accidentally drops her veil.
The conspirators cannot contain their mirth at the notion of Renato’s nocturnal assignation with his own wife. Renato is astounded: he shouldn’t have trusted either his wife or is best friend. In a fit of jealousy, asks the conspirators to his house the next day.
Left alone with Amelia he orders her to go home with him: he’s sworn to see her to the city and will keep his word.


Scene 4
Renato’s house. Finding Renato determined to kill her, Amelia begs to be allowed to bid their son farewell. Left alone, Renato reflects that he should rather kill Gustav. As day breaks, Samuel and Tom arrive. He demands to join in their conspiracy and to kill himself the King. The conspirators don’t agree and they elect to draw lots to decide who will strike the fatal blow. , and Renato takes advantage of Amelia’s return to force her to draw the lot. Amelia doesn’t know what she’s involved in but is filled with foreboding. She has drawn the lot with Renato’s name.
Oscar the page brings an invitation to the masked ball and the conspirators decide that the king is going to be assassinated that night.

Scene 5
Gustav is alone. He has decided to abdicate from Amelia as he can’t betray his best friend. That’s why he has just signed a paper sending Renato and Amelia to another city. He’ll never see his beloved Amelia. Oscar brings an unsigned letter of the plot. The letter was written by Amelia but Gustav but he pays no attention to it. In the ballroom the celebration has started. Renato finds out what costume the King is wearing. Amelia recognizes Gustav too. She begs him to leave the ball. He confesses his love again and says that they should never see each other again. Renato shoots the King and tries to escape. The courtiers catch the murderer and take off his mask. Dying Gustav passes Renato the paper showing he intended to send them both away and swears nothing has ever happened between him and Amelia. He forgives Renato and forbids revenge. His last words call for peace between those in discord.


1.1.    This User Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Agreement’) defines the procedure for accessing the website of the St. Petersburg State Funded Cultural Institution, the St. Petersburg Mussorgsky State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre – Mikhailovsky Theatre (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Mikhailovsky Theatre’) located at the domain

1.2. This Agreement regulates the relationship between the Mikhailovsky Theatre and the users of this website.


2.1. For the purposes of this Agreement, the terms indicated below shall have the following meaning:

2.1.2. Mikhailovsky Theatre Site Administrators – those employees authorized to manage the website, acting on behalf of the Mikhailovsky Theatre.

2.1.3. User of the Mikhailovsky Theatre Site (hereinafter the ‘User’) – a person having access to and using the website via the Internet.

2.1.4. Site – the Mikhailovsky Theatre website located at the domain

2.1.5. Content of the Mikhailovsky Theatre Site – the protected results of intellectual activity, including extracts from audiovisual productions, their names, forewords, annotations, articles, illustrations and covers, with or without text, graphic, textual, photographic, derived, composite, and other works, user interfaces, visual interfaces, logos, and also the design, structure, selection, coordination, external appearance, general style, and placement of the Content making up the Site and other intellectual property whether together and/or separately contained in the Mikhailovsky Theatre Site and the Personal Area, from where it is then possible to purchase Mikhailovsky Theatre tickets.


3.1. The subject of this Agreement is the provision to the User of access to the services available on the Site.

3.1.1. The Mikhailovsky Theatre Site shall provide the following services to the User:

- access to information about the Mikhailovsky Theatre and information about how to purchase tickets

- purchase of electronic tickets

- discounts, promotions, concessions, and special offers

- receipt of information about Theatre news and events, including via news and information distribution services (email, phone, text message)

- access to electronic content, with the right to view such content

- access to search and navigation tools

- the opportunity to post messages and comments

- other services provided through the pages of the Mikhailovsky Theatre Site

3.2. This Agreement covers all services existing (or functioning) at the present time on the Mikhailovsky Theatre Site, and any subsequent modifications to them and additional services which may appear in the future.

3.2. Access to the Mikhailovsky Theatre Site shall be provided free of charge.

3.3. This Agreement is a public offer. In obtaining access to the Site, the User shall be deemed to have opted in to this Agreement.

3.4. Use of the materials and services on the Site shall be governed by the provisions of current Russian Federation legislation.


4.1. The Mikhailovsky Theatre Site Administrators shall have the right:

4.1.1. To change the rules for use of the Site and to change the Content of the Site. Changes to usage rules shall enter into force from the moment the new version of the Agreement is published on the Site.

4.2. The User shall have the right:

4.2.1. User registration on the Mikhailovsky Theatre Site shall be for the purpose of identifying the User in order to provide Site services, distribute information and news (by email, post, telephone, text message, or other means), and to obtain feedback and a record of the provision of concessions, discounts, special offers, and promotions.

4.2.2. To use all of the services available on the Site.

4.2.3. To ask any questions relating to the information presented on the Mikhailovsky Theatre Site.

4.2.4. To use the Site solely for the purposes and in the manner provided for by this Agreement and not prohibited by Russian Federation legislation.

4.3. The User shall:

4.3.2. Take no action which may be considered to be in breach of the normal functioning of the Site.

4.3.3. Avoid any actions which may result in a breach of confidentiality with regard to information protected by Russian Federation legislation.

4.4. The User may not:

4.4.1. Use any device, program, procedure, algorithm or method, automated devices, or similar manual processes in order to access, acquire, copy, or track the Content of the Site.

4.4.3. Circumvent in any way the navigational structure of the Site in order to obtain or attempt to obtain any information, documents, or material by any means which are expressly not provided by the Site services;

4.4.4. Breach the security or authentication systems of the Site or any network associated with the Site. Carry out reverse searches, track, or attempt to track any information about any other User of the Site.


5.1. The Site and the Content contained therein belong to and are managed by the Mikhailovsky Theatre Site Administrators.

5.2. The Content of the Site may not be published, reproduced, transferred, or distributed by any means, nor posted on the worldwide networks of the Internet without the written consent of the Site Administrators.

5.5. The User shall be personally responsible for the confidentiality of the information in his/her account, including his/her password, and for all activity, without exception, which is carried out on behalf of the User of the account.

5.6. The User must immediately notify the Site Administrators of any unauthorized use of his/her account or password, or of any other breach of the security system.


6.1. Losses which the User may suffer in the event of a deliberate or negligent breach of any provision of this Agreement, or as a consequence of unauthorized access to the communications of any other User, shall not be reimbursed by the Mikhailovsky Theatre Site Administrators.

6.2. The Mikhailovsky Theatre Site Administrators shall not be liable for:

6.2.1. Delays or malfunctions in the process of carrying out operations arising as a result of force majeure circumstances, nor for any faults in the telecommunications, computer, electronic, or other related systems.

6.2.2. The actions of banking, transfer, and payment systems, nor for delays connected with their operation.

6.2.3. Improper functioning of the Site in cases where the User does not have the technical equipment required for its use, nor do the Administrators accept any obligation to provide Users with such equipment.


7.1. The Mikhailovsky Theatre Site Administrators shall have the right to terminate and/or block access to the Site, without prior notice to the User, if the User has breached this Agreement or the terms of use of the Site contained in other documents, or in the event of the Site ceasing to function, or due to technical glitches or problems.

7.2. The Site Administrators shall not be liable to the User or third parties for termination of access to the Site in the event of a breach by the User of any of the provisions of this Agreement or any other document containing the terms of use of this Site.

7.3. The Site Administrators shall have the right to disclose any information about the User as may be necessary for the execution of the provisions of current legislation or judicial rulings.


8.1. In the event of any disagreements or disputes arising between the Parties to this Agreement, a mandatory condition before resorting to the courts is that a claim should be submitted (a written proposal for voluntary resolution of the dispute).

8.2. The recipient of the claim shall, within 30 calendar days of receipt, notify the claimant in writing of the results of consideration of the claim.

8.3. If it is not possible to settle the dispute by voluntary means, either Party may apply to the courts for protection of their rights as provided for under current Russian Federation legislation.


9.1. In opting in to this Agreement and leaving his/her information on the Mikhailovsky Theatre Site by completing the registration form, the User:

9.1.1. Consents to the processing of the following personal information: full name; date of birth; telephone number; email address; payment details (if the service is used to purchase electronic tickets to the Mikhailovsky Theatre);

9.1.2. Confirms that this personal information belongs to him/her personally;

9.1.3. Gives the Mikhailovsky Theatre Site Administrators the right to carry out, without limit in time, the following actions (operations) with his/her personal information:

- collection and accumulation

- storage for an unlimited period of time (indefinitely) from the moment that the information is provided until it is recalled by the User by means of an application to the Site Administrators

- clarification (renewal, modification)

- destruction

9.2. The User's personal information shall be processed in accordance with Article 6.1.5 of Federal Law No. 152-FZ dated 27.07.2006 ‘On Personal Information’, solely for the purposes of performing the obligations accepted by the Mikhailovsky Theatre Site Administrators under this Agreement with respect to the User, including those indicated in clause 3.1.1 of this Agreement.

9.3. The User accepts and confirms that all of the provisions of this Agreement and the terms of processing his/her personal information are understood by him/her, and expresses his/her consent with the terms of processing his/her personal information without reservation or limitation. The User’s consent to the processing of his/her personal information is specific, informed, and conscious.