Opera Scotland

Masked Ball 1949Glyndebourne Opera

Read more about the opera Ballo in maschera

The repertoire for the 1949 Glyndebourne programme at Edinburgh involved a repeat of the successful Così fan tutte - a typical Glyndebourne offering, with seven performances. The second choice, with no fewer than eleven performances, was Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, a work that has scarcely featured in the company's repertoire since.

Professionally, Ballo remains a rarity in Scotland. It had been toured in the twenties by the Carl Rosa company. Since 1949 there have only been a production from Stockholm at the 1959 Festival, and then Scottish Opera's sole staging in 1975.

Vittorio Gui was one of the leading Italian conductors, and became particularly associated with Rossini, while Carl Ebert had been the leading director at Glyndebourne since before the war. The version used was the standard Italian one, with characters called Riccardo, Renato, Ulrica, etc. However no geographical indicators are given in the synopsis, with Riccardo simply 'the Prince', rather than the Governor of Boston.

Two great Verdi sopranos must have been impressive in the role of Amelia. Mirto Picchi was one of the best Italian tenors of the day, and Paolo Silveri a highly reputable baritone.

Several of the choristers at the outset of their careers would appear as soloists in our records in future years. These include sopranos April Cantelo and Joan Stuart; altos Patricia Bartlett and Norma Procter; tenors William McAlpine and Alexander Young and bass Dennis Wicks.

Cast details are from a programme in the OperaScotland collection.

Performance Cast

Count Ribbing a conspirator (Sam)

Ian Wallace

Count Horn a conspirator (Tom)

Hervey Alan

Oscar page to Gustavus (Edgar)

Alda Noni

Gustavus III King of Sweden (Riccardo)

Mirto Picchi (Aug 22, 24, 26, 29; Sep 1, 3, 6, 10)

William Horne (Aug 31; Sep 5, 8)

Anckarström friend to the king (Renato)

Paolo Silveri

Lord Chief Justice

George Israel

Mamzell Arvidson a fortune-teller (Ulrica)

Jean Watson (Aug 22, 24, 29; Sep 1, 3, 5, 8, 10)

Amalia Pini (Aug 26, 31; Sep 6)

Christian a sailor (Silvano)

Francis Loring

Servant to Amelia

Leslie Fyson

Amelia wife of Anckarström (Adelia)

Ljuba Welitsch (Aug 22, 24, 29; Sep 1, 3, 5, 8, 10)

Margherita Grandi (Aug 26, 31; Sep 6)

Production Cast


Vittorio Gui (Aug 22, 24, 26, 29; Sep 3, 5, 6, 8)

Hans Oppenheim (Aug 31; Sep 1, 10)


Carl Ebert

Designer - Sets

Caspar Neher

Designer - Costumes

Caspar Neher

Performance DatesMasked Ball 1949

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

22 Aug, 19.00 24 Aug, 19.00 26 Aug, 19.00 29 Aug, 19.00 31 Aug, 19.00 1 Sep, 19.00 3 Sep, 19.00 5 Sep, 19.00 6 Sep, 19.00 8 Sep, 19.00 10 Sep, 19.00

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