Un Ballo in Maschera at The Washington Opera

Posted by Randy Shulman
September 18, 2010 2:45 PM |

An austere production, perhaps appropriate to tough economic times both at the Washington National Opera and at large, Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera is more about competence than magic. With sets that are ostentatiously spare, costumes consigned to a spectrum of grays, and the only concession to color a few scarlet cummerbunds and the glad rags of the soprano, this is anything but a feast for the eyes. Unfortunately, it is also not a feast for the heart, for although such bland surrounds can often serve to put emotion into stark relief, here they simply complement a dramatic reticence. Epiphanies abound in this romantically tragic opera, but here they play more like parts moving into tableaux than the humanely chaotic interactions they represent. A few of the cast seek to transcend this rather calculated mood, but more remain submerged in director James Robinson's chess-like approach. Remaining performances Sept. 19, 20, 22, and 25. Kennedy Center Opera House. Tickets are $55 to $600. Call 202-467-4600 or visit dc-opera.org. (Kate Wingfield)

Please Leave a Comment